Modern Baptist Movements

September 27, 2011 Comments off

Unfortunately, our study of Baptists history forces us to examine conventions, associations, and fellowships started by Baptists. I say this, because the Lord never instructed or commanded there to be such organizations; but established and has taught us only independent autonomous churches. Boards, fellowships, conventions, and associations are the inventions of man, and as a result, are destined to fail. In studying such organizations, one will quickly see the repetitive theme of power, division, and splintering. It would seem man’s attempt to ‘improve’ God’s way of missions is a continued reason for the creating of such organizations. Though the motivation is respectable, the means are still wrong. One will find himself much more successful in the Lord’s work by accomplishing it the Lord’s way. Let us examine briefly the modern Baptist movements after the Revolutionary War, and bring our study of Baptist History to a close. By the early 1800’s there were only a few small fellowships such as the Warren Association and Philadelphia Association. These soon were divided into three organizations: the American Baptist Home Mission Society, American Baptist Missionary Union, and the American Baptist Publication Society. An anti-missionary movement began around 1814. It was rooted in Calvinism and led to a withdrawal from such fellowships. This group against fellowships formed a fellowship (ironic, yet still repeated today) and became known as Hardshell Baptist or Primitive Baptist. They were, because of Calvinistic beliefs, against sending missionaries and means of evangelism. Around the same time, a missionary named Adoniram Judson and his wife set sail for Calcutta. There were already Baptist missionaries there which they did not agree doctrinally with, but their long cruise would provide them ample time to prepare to debate them on their beliefs. It was while on this trip in studying the Scriptures to debate the Baptists, that the Scriptures revealed to them that it was them who were in error. Upon arriving in Calcutta, the Judsons were baptized Scripturally and joined with the Baptists. They knew this decision would would not allow the churches supporting them to continue their support. A friend of theirs who also was Scripturally Baptized upon arrival, Luther Rice, was sent back to the states to raise support for the Judsons. This would lead to a man made ‘solution’ to the Judson’s problem, the beginning of the “General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions.” The convention would become known as the Triennial Convention because it would meet every three years. It became the main convention for Baptists until the mid 1800’s. Of course, around this time our nation was entering her Civil War. The issue of slavery not only was a hot topic for our nation, but amongst Baptist churches as well. An attempt to take a neutral stand on the issue would not succeed. A missionary sent out of a church in Alabama went to the Triennial Convention for ‘approval’ but was denied because he owned slaves. This upset the churches in the south, and in 1845, the Baptist in the southern states withdrew from the Triennial Convention and formed the Southern Baptist Convention. There were many great men who served our Lord as part of the convention, and a list displayed would be sure to leave off names of men who served our Lord faithfully. One Southern Baptist leader was J.R. Graves. J.R. Graves would serve the Lord as a pastor for nearly 50 years in Kentucky and Tennessee. Bro. Graves began to notice the growing power and influence of the convention and began sounding the alarm. J.R. Graves called for a return to doctrine and the local church and the principles of the Word of God. He taught that the convention threatened the autonomy of the local church. Bro. Graves, and men like him, called for Baptists to return to those principles, or landmarks, of the faith. Thus began the Landmark movement amongst Baptists. Upon its beginning, and true ‘Landmarkers’ today do not believe in a visible, traceable line of succession from church to church back to Christ, but rather a steadfastness to the principles, or landmarks, of the faith that Christ taught and gave to the church. When the Southern Baptist Convention splintered off from the Triennial Convention, the Triennial Convention changed their name to the American Baptist Missionary Union. The American Baptist, or Northern Baptists Convention, would continue to send many missionaries all across the world. Soon, as with every man made convention, fellowship, or organization, compromise and modernism was slipping in. The Conservative Baptist Association was formed in 1920 within the Northern Baptist Convention to fight this drift. There are many great revivals and men who preached truth during this time period. Contrary to ‘fundamentalist’ today, there were many Baptist revivals and church plants going on as well. This author would recommend literature by Pastor James Beller on the great Baptist Revivals in our early American history. Associations, conventions, and fellowships continued (and continue) to grow from divisions and splintering. Today’s choice of word is not ‘convention’ but ‘fellowship,’ Yet, they are mostly the same thing, a man made organization in attempt to improve and help God and His way. They are always destined to destruction. Let us further examine the movements. After the Civil War, a growth in liberalism and modernism began in our nation. Truth was being attacked. This attack was strengthened by the philosophy of Rationalism. Men like Immanuel Kant, G.F. Hegel, and Albrecht Ritschl began tearing down the Bible and Truth. These men’s influence spread from Germany to America and American Liberalism was born. A call to compromise, no Absolutes, love every one and everything, and no authorities! The work of Charles Darwin further flamed the errors. Sin became more prevalent and indulged in. Battle lines were drawn, and a new movement began. This movement is called ‘Fundamentalism.’ The movement was founded upon a call to return to the ‘Fundamentals of the Faith:’ the Virgin Birth, Innerancy of Scriptures, Christ’s Substitutionary Death, Resurrection, and Return. Upon these ‘fundamentals’ were denominations unified to fight the modernism and liberalism. Realizing that the ‘schools of higher learning’ were instructing the American young people to be liberal and attack Christianity, the Fundamentalists began their own Religious Schools to combat. Schools were founded like Moody Bible and Boston Missionary Training School, and later Bob Jones University, Pensacola Christian, and many of today’s ‘Baptist’ Colleges. Fundamentalism began to meld into one Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and such. The PROBLEM IS: 1. Scripture Forbids Fellowship with Unbelief (2 John 7-11) 2. Scripture Commands to reprove apostasy (Eph. 5:11) 3. We must purge unbelief if we can (1 Cor. 5:1-7) 4. Believers and Unbelievers are not to be yoked together (2 Cor. 6:14-18) 5. We are to separate from disobedient brothers (1 Cor. 5:11; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Thess. 3:6) 6. God’s Work done man’s way will lack the blessing of God (2 Sam. 15:23) 7. We cannot affiliate with churches or movements which do not practice the full Word of God (2 Chron. 19:2) (adopted from Doug Hammet-“History of Baptist” pg. 262-263) We must not, cannot compromise Truth. The Lord’s churches are to be the “Pillar and Ground of Truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15) This author is NOT A FUNDAMENTALIST! I cannot join hands with those who grossly walk in error. I can and do love them and desire to help them and will discuss these things with them, but the ‘Fundamentalist’ movement of today should be for many reasons avoided by true Baptists. Yet, most Baptist churches still proclaim to be “Independent Fundamental Baptist. I still find it on our churches productions and literature and am still in the process of purging it all. Let us conclude. The modern Baptist movement of conventions and fellowships continue today. As does the rise to power, divisions, and splintering. Thus we see the following: Conservative Baptist Association of America split from the Northern Baptist and today have approximately 300,000 members. The American Baptist Association organized in 1924 split over ‘Landmarkism’ and today are estimated to have over 700,000 members in mostly the South. The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (G.A.R.B.C.) is prominent in the Northern States and is considered the successor of the Baptist Bible Union as a split from the Northern Baptist Convention. The World Baptist Fellowship began as a split from the Baptist Bible Union under J. Frank Norris and today has a membership of around 700,000. The Southwide Baptist Fellowship is prominent in the south east and began under the leadership of Dr. Lee Roberson, it also saw the organization of B.I.M.I. (Baptist International Missions Inc). It is a loose fellowship of Baptist churches heading towards modernism today (as they all eventually do). The Baptist Missionary Association began in 1950 as a split from the American Baptist Association over procedure issues. They tend to stand for a more separated life and strong church truth. The Baptist Bible Fellowship, one of the largest fundamental groups in the U.S., began as a split from the World Baptist Fellowship. There are over 2 million members in the BBF. It too has strayed from Truth and towards modernism with textual criticism and a lack of holiness and separation. There are many large colleges under the BBF influencing thousands of young people (Bible Baptist College, Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College, etc). We could continue to discuss all the boards, fellowships, conventions that exist today, but time or space does not permit. The BBF has split and begun various organizations, as they all have and their ‘offspring’ will split and produce even more. Why? Because they are all para-church or will end that way. They are man made. They will fail. The Lord Jesus Christ began the first church with His disciples. He gave to that church and the churches it started the doctrine of the New Testament. Those principles were passed down from church to church as they discipled and birthed other churches. It is these principles, these truths, to which the Lord’s churches must hold and be faithful. May we, by God’s grace, continue doing so-and doing it God’s way!

Why?

September 26, 2011 Comments off
Why let yourself be discouraged and play right into the devil’s hand?

Why hang your head in shame when He willingly stretched out His arms for you?



Why act as if you’re guilty when you know your conscience is clean?

Why let yourself be defeated when He has already won the battle?

Why count the lost friendships instead of the friends who stand true?

Why fear what the future holds when He has it ordained?

Why be shocked when the scorners come instead of anticipating what He will do?

Why look down with shoulders stooped instead of looking up to Him?

Why listen to those on the other side instead of simply walking the straight and narrow way?

Why run to man for help when He your Fortress would be?

Why doubt that which you know is truth instead of standing firm?

Why let men being used by Satan defy the Lord dwelling in you?

Why feel the prick of their lies and jeers when He so silently bore much more for you?

Why complain that your road’s not easy when He always knew the path you’d take?

Why not just trust, just stand, just pray, just walk forward in His way?

Oh, How I Love Thee…

September 26, 2011 Comments off

…Pumpkin Spice Latte!  Every year about this time, I fall in love again with Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  And the funny thing is, that as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I lose interest altogether!  Then I jump full force into a sea of Peppermint Mochas…and just relish the taste until about Christmas.  After that, I still like the Peppermint Mochas, but not so exclusively.

Well, the problem with Pumpkin Spice Lattes is that they are difficult to immitate.  I mean for Peppermint, you can just use peppermint oil, or dissolved candies.  For caramel, you can dissolve caramel.  But how do you attain the flavor of Pumpkin Spice without using pureed Pumpkin and lots of Spice?  Then this can make quite a gritty drink if not done properly.  Of course, the easiest way would be to use some of that fancy syrup Starbucks uses, but who knows where to buy it? and how much would it cost?  And we all know, if we invested in that, we would probably have to buy it in bulk.  Then by the end of the season, we would have used an eighth of the bottle, and by next year it would be lost or no good at all!

Well, I found a pretty good recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  It is not perfect, and the drink is thick and full of spice and puree, but it is enjoyable too.  In fact I loved mine until about the last fifteen percent.  Then you get all the pureed pumpkin and spice that has settled to the bottom, and it gets a strange texture and bitter taste real quick!  So do you know what I did?  I covered and refrigerated that last little bit, and the next morning, I added more milk coffee, and sugar, and had another Pumpkin Spice latte!  Not so bad!  So go ahead and try it if you’re brave, but beware of the last few gulps…I wouldn’t try to drink it!  (You could even try adding half the spice the recipe calls for to avoid a bitter end of the cup.)

Here’s the link.  You’ll be taken to another website where you’ll see the recipe when you scroll down.

 

Happy Fall!

Brainwashed?

September 26, 2011 Comments off

Brainwash – to make (someone) adopt radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible pressure.

Have you ever been directly or indirectly accused of being brainwashed?  I am convinced that this word is horrendously overused in today’s American English.  It implies being dominated completely by another human being, and not being able to think for yourself; as well it often includes being labeled as a “dunce.”  Being a Christian, I would say that I am fairly used to, especially in the post-modernist media establishment, being labeled as brainwashed.  It is hilarious to me to see how many angles this label/accusation originates from.  For example:

  • Many nations from around the globe claim that Americans are brainwashed into believing their country is the greatest on earth.
  • Those who believe in God are said to have been brainwashed into believing in Him when they were uneducated Christians.
  • Christians are supposedly brainwashed by their church to believe that Christ is God, and that there is no other way to heaven but through Him.
  • Fundamental Baptists are somehow accused of being brainwashed into adapting biblical standards concerning separation and godly living.

But what are all these accusations based on?  Fact?  The accusations are far from fact.  They are all based on opinion and emotion.  Brainwash is a very emotion-driven word, especially to the average person living in the United States.  The immediate reaction to this word is supposed to be, “How horrible!  ___________ is using mind control techniques tomake people believe things.”  And I agree, human mind control is wrong in every aspect; but to be specific, why label separated Baptists as brainwashed?  Truth: it stirs the general public’s emotions by, at the very least, embellishing, if not outright lying to them about what is actually happening.

Let me illustrate by personal example and experience.  I was raised in what most would consider a very “religious” home –to be exact, a fundamental Baptist home.  I was constantly trained from the Bible.  I was always taught to listen to what godly teachers and preachers said, and as long as it lined up with the Word of God, to direct my life in that path.  Yes, I was highly influenced by people, starting with my parents, and so many others thereafter.  Who is not influenced by teachers and mentors in their life?  This is where thebrainwashing accusation comes in.

However, the key difference is that I made a conscience decision to follow what I was taught.  I could have rebelled, stopped going to church, threw away everything that I was taught, and lived the way I wanted.  However, I didn’t choose to.  Why would I?  God has given me so much to be thankful for.  I could not have planned my life to be as joyful as it has been.  By God’s grace, I made my own choice to follow Christ with my life.  Contrary to today’s common belief, I was never brainwashed into doing anything.

I think what these people are really trying to say is that they do not like what people are being taught.  For most people who use the word, I think that they classify brainwashing as someone being taught anything that they themselves do not believe.  Now it all makes sense!

Here are some not-so-uncommon comments that are said when using the term brainwash.

“Those children behave too well.  They must be brainwashed!.” –No, that’s called obedience.  That used to be common in America up until fifty or so years ago.

“____________ just takes the Bible so literally.  He’s brainwashed.”  –No, he has faith.

“The people from _______________ Church are so religious..and they dress funny too.  They’re so brainwashed!” –No, they’re making their own decision to follow Biblical standards.

If we are going to use this false definition of brainwashing than we should use it universally.  All children are brainwashed by their teachers; all people who want to lose weight are brainwashed by their newest diet guru; all sports fans are brainwashed by their favorite team; and television brainwashes everyone!

I consider myself a pretty independent person.  I typically like to make my own decisions, make my own living, and make my own way in life –until God comes in.  And believe me, He is always there.  I gladly throw away every ounce of independence I may have, for His will.  I could never be happier than to be influenced and controlled by God and his Word.  What a privilege!

The Stork is Halfway Here!

September 26, 2011 Comments off

Well, we’re over the hump…last Monday made twenty weeks, and I think that is officially considered halfway.  Tomorrow will be twenty-one weeks.  And the next Monday, at twenty-two weeks, we will find an answer to the big question:  He or She!?!  (So, you have just about one week to vote.  Please leave a comment including your guess as to Boy? or Girl?  We would love to read everyone’s opinion, and then announce who was correct when we find out!)

I feel this critter a lot now…lots of little taps and pokes!  It is exciting!  And, yes, I am starting to get into Maternity clothes.  My regular clothes have been getting snug for quite a while, and my closet options seem to be diminishing by the week!  I finally got down to a very few skirts that were still wearable, and a friend kindly offered to go maternity shopping with me!  It was such a nice gesture, and turned out to be a very successful trip.  Now there are a few more choices in my wardrobe, and I am just about to plunge whole-heartedly into the maternity look!  I have actually been waiting a bit anxiously for this, excited to wear some of the cute maternity tops I have found or been given!  It is a bit challenging to change your whole wardrobe, though!  Now I have skirts and tops, but not all of them have a matching counterpart, and, well…we’re still sorting things out!  The funny thing is though, that your size is constantly changing (getting bigger, that is!), so something that worked last week may not work this week!  Keeps life interesting!  (All the moms out there are probably laughing at me and my ‘pregnant newbie’ discoveries!)

Speaking of getting bigger, this baby does not help matters when it wants to eat chocolate and sugar all the time.  And of course, I don’t want to be selfish;  it’s not about me and what I want (which is only healthy food, of course!) –it is about the BABY.  So I just have to sacrifice and keep giving the little one the chocolate and sugar it wants.  Ohhh the trials of eating for two!  And the other thing is that baby wants to sleep all the time!  Why it’s making me yawn now!  Oh well, if I have to eat chocolate and sleep in every day for the baby, I will suffer through it!  I’m joking!  (Well, kind of…)  I have had a big sweet tooth lately, and the baby does make me more tired, but I don’t sleep in EVERY day!

I might add, Baby’s Daddy has been quite the sweetie lately!  I’ll admit I am getting a little spoiled…seems like we have been going to eat where I want, and buying other little things that I like.  It really pays to be pregnant!

All in all, things are going very well so far.  Didn’t have much of any morning sickness in the first trimester, and even now, there are some common side effects of being pregnant, and aches and pains here and there, but nothing too bad at all.  I think I am VERY blessed compared to what some moms have to endure.  Thank the Lord…He is always better to us than we deserve!  And we are looking forward to raising this child for Him.  What a privilege…and an immense responsibility!

10th Anniversary

September 24, 2011 Comments off

Today marks the 10th anniversary of our arrival in Mongolia as a family. Kristie and I visited in July 1997. I made a trip in the spring of 2001 to arrange for housing and visas. But it was not until September 24, 2011 that we arrived in Mongolia as a family.

At that time, we only had three children. Emily was not yet three and probably does not remember our arrival.

It was less than two weeks after the tragic events of September 11, and there was still significant uncertainty about more attacks or the United States’s response to the attacks. Some American friends of ours had placed a U.S. flag in a prominent position in their home. The U.S. Embassy in Mongolia had extra security.

Two pictures give you an idea how much our family has changed. In the first picture, Kristie and three kids (Elsie was not yet born) are sitting with our Mongolian friends and Kristie’s mother. One of the young ladies in the picture has her own child now. And we’ve added Elsie as you can see in the picture at the bottom.

A lot has changed in the world, in the U.S., in Mongolia, and in our family since that day that we arrived.

Hello Blog Friends…

September 24, 2011 Comments off

Hello Blog Friends,
In the big blog world.

Please be advised that the human grossness factor is high in this post.
Just warnin’.

For those with stomachs of iron……… by all means proceed.

Today was an ordinary day, and I was getting my ordinary shower at the ordinary time of 10:30.

No hatin’.

This is because I spend a lot of ordinary time cleaning in my frumpy night gown and Medussa hair.

I do this because I somehow believe deep down that a clean house means well behaved children.
This has never happened.

But I still believe that someday it magically WILL happen and so I continue.

And this cleaning becomes a woman whom you would believe was in the nesting phase of pregnancy, mopping and scrubbing like there is no tomorrow.

And I wonder if I did not get enough of that out during my pregnancies…….or just because of the sheer number of children it never leaves entirely?

These are questions I will never answer.

And so I just keep cleaning.

Until my shower at previous stated time. I say this because even I am too ashamed to acknowledge it again in print!

Ahem.

So, the shower is my think tank.

I can feel world peace in there I tell ya.

I can feed my family on 50 dollars a week if I had to, find way too many ways to hide one chicken breast in casseroles, make my own laundry soap and fuse the previous sliver of soap in the shower to the new sparkling bar, somehow believing that this makes me a good saving person.

BUT,

BUT, I do NOT save money when it comes to the econo shower.

Nope. And I have never tried.

I figure if I took military showers I could save the difference and actually go to a real spa, but for now home sweet home has become my spa sweet spa.

I think in there. I think in there until I am a prune.

And be sure that two things will snap your inheritance, slim as it may be, clean away:

1.Talking while Mom is trying to roll out a pie crust and get it in the pan…in one piece.

And

2. Interrupting Mom’s shower unless you are becoming disemboweled.

That’s it. Otherwise I am Mother of the Year.

Well ok now I just lied so that totally takes me out of the running….. I digress.

So, ordinary day, ordinary cleaning spree, ordinary shower.

Then I go to brush my teeth.

And I grab the wrong toothbrush.

I grab someone’s who will remain anonymous, but will tell you that they are of the little sort barely in school.

And apparently they do not have strong feelings regarding rinsing………..anything.

Yeah. No hoorays for me who thought it swell to buy toothbrushes in bulk packs thinking how clever I was to have them match.

Bad idea.

Next to YooHoo drink, possibly the worst decision ever made.

And I literally wondered as I quickly brought the brushing disaster to an end if this was indeed what “Shock and Awe” feels like.

I then realized that I had most likely eaten all of the food that pervious stated child had consumed and had hanging in their teeth from the last week…..

Or several.

And in the midst of my body shuddering the Lord showed me just how foolish I am to take anything of anyone else’s and try to use it for my own.

Hmmmmmmm

You KNOW I HAD to check out friend’s homeschooling tips and ideas, and read about what this family does and that one.

ALWAYS to my detriment.

Several months ago I may or may not have mentioned this story so indulge me because I am too lazy to scroll back months to reread my banter. (And I am still queezy enough….. )

I was on facebook. I know, I groan too these days.

SO, I was on and posted about how I had made a couple of loaves of bread.

Now did I write that to seem “All that” and show a glimmer of “Martha Stewartishness”

Well to those questions I plead the Fifth, or the Eighth? Anyhow I plead the First through the Fifth. That should cover me.

And a happy go lucky friend commented.

SHE makes bread too. SHE makes whole grain breads. By hand.
I used the bread machine.

(enter Whistling music from an Old Western gun shoot out scene)

I wrote back.

I grind my own wheat…..

(eyebrows saying, “So there!”)

And I ALMOST hit ENTER.

But the Holy Spirit hit DELETE.

Who cares?

WHO CARES?

Really? Again I compare myself with someone else?

Why must I be the biggest and brightest star out there?

Now this was a while ago and yet recently I have fallen into the pit of comparison again.

I really should just make a Vacation cottage there I visit so often…..

So and So is using DVD’s to school their children.

So and So is using “Myster y of the Next best thing out there” History curriculum.

So and So had to grab take out because they were too busy finding fossils in the backyard while they were geo cashing and leaf rubbing.

And on it goes.

Me?

I am home waiting on visuals to come in that I forgot to order, while my kids do workbook pages and while I try to hide the fact that every time The Sweet Man (Joel) goes over the teaching part with me I have to excuse myself to the restroom because I am so dog gone nervous.

There ya have it.

I DO realize that letting you know what we do may have caused some deep jealousy wanting what we have and for that I am sorry.

(snicker, snicker…)

Trying to be someone else, use someone else’s schedule, fit into their mold for their family is as sickening as using someone else’s cruddy toothbrush.

Use what you have. Go to the bathroom several times while preparing if you must. (that was for me) But know that teaching your children to love the Lord, having a loving atmosphere for your family to live in, your husband to come home to, for visitors to be welcomed, is more important than keeping up with the facebook Jones’.

My kids will not remember their curriculum.

They will remember me.

And several bathroom breaks.

We are not cookie cutter families.

We are individual families, placed with the children God wanted us to disciple, in the place where we can shine the brightest in the world for Him.

Embrace that.

Embrace honey sandwiches because It is close to payday.

Embrace visuals coming late and workbooks and art projects consisting of yarn and glue because you cannot find the crayons.

Embrace dinners of chicken casserole because chicken is all you have left in the freezer.

Just. Live.

If you need me to write you a permission slip just send me a note. I will gladly excuse you from the latest and greatest.

And while we are at it,

Write one for me will ya?

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