Translate

Sunday, November 25, 2012

6 things we ought to give

Continuing in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, here are six things we ought to give.

1. We ought to give thanks, because of what God has done. Cf. e.g. Psalm 136
2. We ought to give praise and honor, because of who God is. Cf. e.g. Psalm 29
3. We ought to give honor to whom honor is due, because of God's sovereignty. Cf. Rom. 13:7 & 9:21
4. We ought to give instruction, answers and advice, because of our calling. Cf. Prov. 9:9; I Pet. 3:15; II Cor. 8:10
5. We ought to give gifts, because of the need.
To help the poor, hungry and needy, Cf. e.g. Matt. 5:42; Psalm 146:7; Luke 6:30-38
To support the ministry of the church, Cf. e.g. I Cor. 9; I Cor. 16:1-3; II Cor. 9:7
6. We ought to give ourselves, because it is reasonable. Cf. e.g. I Tim 4:15; Romans 12:1

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random History of Feet Washing among Baptists

I usually refer to this as "feet washing", though probably more people refer to it as "foot washing". In the early 1980s an older preacher told me it should be referred to as "feet washing" because you wash both feet, not just one. Since then I have tried to consistently refer to it in this manner. I hope to briefly explore feet washing and its history as it relates to Baptists, rather than discussing it from a theological perspective.

Which Baptists may or may not practice feet washing? Two groups that are most widely recognized as "feetwashers" are Primitive Baptists and Free Will Baptists, though the practice is not 100% among either of these. The majority of Primitive Baptists practice feet washing, but a few do not. Hassell mentions this in his History of the Church of God. Many Primitive Baptists refer to feet washing as an "example" rather than an ordinance. Feet washing is a majority practice among the Free Will Baptists, though, for example, it has been a little weak among Texas Free Will Baptists because of a strong link to the northern (Randall) version of Free Will Baptists. One Free Will Baptist church near here hasn't observed it in a number of years, though their statement of faith expresses a belief in it. Free Will Baptists seem to consistently refer to feet washing as an "ordinance".

Other lesser known or smaller groups of Baptists are fairly consistent "feetwashers", such as: Old Regular Baptists, United Baptists, Regular Baptists, General Baptists, Separate Baptists, and Interstate & Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association. Central Baptists (Primitive Baptist descendants), Duck River and Kindred Associations, Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists, and Union Baptists (another Primitive Baptist descendant similar to the Regular Baptists) all practice feet washing.

Some other groups where one can find remnants of the practice are: missionary Baptists, Southern Baptists, and independent Baptists. It has a fairly strong minority following in these churches that are in the Appalachia region or its foothills (e.g., the Blue Ridge of north Georgia). A minority of country churches affiliated with the American Baptist Association and the Baptist Missionary Association used to practice feet washing, although I think the practice had been "rooted out" by mid-20th century. The last actual practice I have confirmed was a BMAA church in east Texas in 1954. A few local associations carried it in their minutes until the early 1960's. The split of the ABA in 1950, and the subsequent withdrawal of the majority of the "feetwashers" into the Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association probably finished what the seminaries had not done. An old issue of J. Frank Norris' paper (The Fundamentalist) indicates that in the early stages of the World Baptist Fellowship (then called the World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship), some of the churches among them practiced feet washing. I feel certain none do now.

Some sources that mention the subject. History of Middle Tennessee Baptists, by J. H. Grime [SBC], has a short chapter on the subject; The Lord's Table by W. J. Burgess [BMAA]; History of the Church of God by C. B. & Sylvester Hassell [Primitive Baptist]; History of the Franklin Association of United Baptists by W. P. Throgmorton [SBC]; The Baptists of Virginia by Garnett Ryland; The History of the English Baptists by Underwood; The Primitive Baptist newspaper, article by C. H. Cayce, Feb. 9. 1933; Foxfire 7. An interesting article on the subject of feet washing is found in Viewpoints: Georgia Baptist History, Volume 1. The article is titled "Feet Washing among Baptists of Georgia (A Study of)" by Charles O. Walker.

In general, the strength of feet washing in the United States was/is in the south, largely due to the influence of Shubal Stearns and the Separate Baptists. But also know that early on in the highly influential Philadelphia Baptist Association, they also approved it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving Day. We have much for which to be thankful.

Monday, November 19, 2012

John 13: reprise

Things others said:
"Doubtless when Jesus washed the disciples' feet he included the feet of Judas Iscariot. If this proves anything beyond the unfathomable love and forbearance of the Master, it is that no rite, even if performed by Jesus himself, ensures spiritual cleansing. Washed Judas may have been; cleansed he was not (cf. 6:63-64). The only other place in the Fourth Gospel where Jesus tell his disciples (minus Judas) that they are clean is 15:3: 'You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.' Real cleansing is effected both through Jesus' revelatory word and through the atoning sacrifice to which the footwashing pointed."
From The Gospel According to John: The Pillar New Testament Commentary, D. A. Carson , Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman's Co., p. 466

In his commentary, Carson also points out that there are three applications of the feet washing"1. The impending atoning death of Christ on the cross, vv 6-82. The cleansing of the progressive Christian experience in time, vv 9-11 cf v 10 with I John 1:93. The lesson of love and humility ,vv 12-17
According to John Christopher Thomas, there is no historical record in either Jewish or Greco-Roman sources "of a superior washing the feet of an inferior."

Footwashing in John 13 and the Johannine Community, John Christopher Thomas, Sheffield, JSOT Press, 1991, Chapter 3

To the extent that we want power we are in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit has no part in us. Christ put a towel around Himself and washed His disciples' feet (John 13:4). We should ask ourselves from time to time, "Whose feet am I washing?" Some churches have made foot-washing into a third sacrament; members wash each other's feet during their worship service. While most of us think it is a mistake to make this a sacrament, let us admit that it is 10,000 times better to wash each other’s feet in a literal way than never to wash anybody’s feet in any way. It would be far better for us to make a mistake and institute a third sacrament of literal foot-washing than to live out our lives without once consciously choosing to serve each other. Doing the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way is not some exotic thing; it is having and practicing the mentality which Christ commands.
From The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian Worldview. Volume Three, a Christian View of Spirituality, Francis August Schaeffer, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982, pp. 46-47

Sunday, November 18, 2012

For nothing and in everything

Philippians 4:6 -- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The negative stated and excluded. "Be careful for nothing..." "Careful" here means to be full of cares -- worry, doubt, fear, anxiety. The Christian should not live a life filled with anxious cares. "For nothing" excludes it from all cases. How can we remove our doubts in the present and not worry over the future? By casting all our care on our Heavenly Father. He cares for us. Thus we see...

The positive stated and enjoined. "...in every thing...let your requests be made known unto God." Things we encounter in life are "too big" for us to carry. But nothing is too big for God! Prayer acknowledges our helpfulness and God's power. In everything -- in all cases -- we should pour out our requests before God. With thanksgiving we acknowledge His kind care over us thus far, and know it will continue.

Thus far the Lord hath led me on
Thus far His power prolongs my days;
And every evening shall make known
Some fresh memorial of His grace.
(Isaac Watts)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye, Ron, may God bless you

No, not Ronald Reagan...Ron Paul. In January Ron Paul is leaving the hallowed halls of Congress. His voice will be heard no more, save in the voices of those who have caught his message. Let freedom ring!

Links:
Read Marty Duren tell Why Ron Paul excels John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Read full text of Ron Paul's Farewell address to Congress.

Listen to Ron Paul's Farewell speech on the House floor.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

African-American Baptist hymnody

Most of my recent posts have been religion, politics and news -- not much for the music lover. To remedy that, here is a little something:
A Survey of Hymnody usage in Selected African American Baptist Churches in the State of Florida, a PhD dissertation by Duncan Jackson at Florida State University, 2009
This looks very interesting. This is a recommendation of interest. I haven't read it yet -- just found it today -- so I don't yet know what he has to say.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is this news?

From a Yahoo news article, I copy:
"A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the emails were 'flirtatious' in nature, but did not deal with security or military business. The official said he had not seen the emails and could not say whether they were merely friendly or sexually explicit."

Over the past several days, I've noticed a rash of "speaking on condition of anonymity" notices in online and print media news. Many times it is because said person "was not authorized to speak" and so forth, although there have been a number of different reasons given. And then, today, this one! It should say "A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he or she had no clue in the matter..."

Is it really news when someone who has not seen or read something is talking to a reporter about it? Senior official, maybe you should not talk about what you don't know about. Reporter, maybe you should find someone who has actually seen or read the e-mails to talk about them!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Election" As Taught in Scripture

Election As Taught in Scripture, by Ken Wimer

Election has its ground, not in anything belonging to the sinner, but ONLY in the purpose and will of God from eternity (2Ti 1:9; Ro 8:30-33; compare Lu 18:7; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12). Acts 13:48 shows that all faith on the part of the elect, is the result of God the Father having ordained sinners to believe, and in time giving them faith to submit to Christ and His righteous obedience unto death. Sinners do not become elect by their faith, but receive faith, and so become believers, because they are elect.

1. It is a special gift of grace, and is the evidence of Christ’s redeeming grace at the cross (Eph. 2:8). Faith proves itself to be a genuine grace of the Holy Spirit, for it submits to and trusts in the righteousness of God in Christ for justification, His blood for pardon, and His all-prevailing merits and intercession for life (2 Peter 1:4). We are not justified by believing, but being justified by the death of the Lord Jesus (Romans 5:9-11), we are caused to see the glory of Christ and His finished work at Calvary, and granted repentance to bow to Him as Savior and Lord. Faith glorifies the Lord Jesus as God’s High Priest who put away sin, and honors Him as King to rule and govern, and yields obedience to Him as God’s prophet to instruct in the truth.
2. It is unto the acknowledging of the truth, which is how the Bible describes repentance- 2 Timothy 2:25. It is not only the acknowledging of our sinfulness, and worthiness of God’s just condemnation, had He so purposed, but the recognition and full discernment of the truth void of conditions of men. It is synonymous with God given, Spirit wrought faith, Acts 20: 21. The believing soul is stripped of every self-righteous plea, and is humbled and submitted to Christ and His imputed righteousness as its only hope for life and salvation.
3. It is after godliness Titus 1:1. Godliness means reverence for God! It presupposes knowledge given by the Spirit through the doctrine of Christ that causes affection for Christ and His Gospel, dependence on His grace, submission to His imputed righteousness, and gratitude for God’s mercies in Christ, and obedience to the truth as it is in Christ. It is opposed to any knowledge that is not founded in the truth, both doctrinal and practical (Tit 1:11, 16; 1Ti 6:3) and anything tending to ungodliness whether in doctrine or practice (2Ti 2:16; compare Tit 2:11, 12).
4. It is in hope of eternal life- Titus 3:7. This includes, not only the salvation of the soul and its eternal keeping, but also the resurrection of the body and the final glorification of every sinner whom the Father chose, and for whom Christ died. It is a true hope, a sure hope, and a good hope, because of Him who IS OUR HOPE- 1 Timothy 1:1

Ken Wimer, Shreveport Grace Church Bulletin - January 24, 2010

Thursday, November 08, 2012

"Political" quotes

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful, good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Our Christian habit is to bewail the world's deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality, disregard for human life, and materialistic greed. 'The world is going down the drain,' we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame? Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house; that is what happens when the sun goes down." -- John Stott

"If you are a Christian and you find your identity in your race, your social status, your economic standing, your neighborhood, your traditions, your privileged place of power, or your political party, it is time to lay all that down and live open, sacrificial lives on behalf of the world as you represent Christ. Hold tight to the Word of God and its timeless truth. Be ready to be persecuted on behalf of righteousness. But, find your identity in Christ and not in the false identities of the world. Jesus is victorious." -- Alan Cross

"Christians must never see political action as an end, but only as a means. We can never seek salvation through the voting booth, and we must never look for a political messiah." -- Al Mohler

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

God is still ruler yet

I write this on the evening of the election, to post to my blog in the morning. It is expected that it will be well into the night -- or maybe even much later than that -- before we will have an idea who has won the presidential election. Now I lay me down to sleep.

I lay down to sleep without worrying about what I will wake to find tomorrow. Many supporters of whomever wins will shout from the housetops that the country has been saved. Deliverance is come. Many supporters of whomever loses will wring their hands in despair, surely knowing that the future is lost. I  rest assured that this is my Father's world -- God is the ruler yet. The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men and gives them to whomsover He will. I am not seeking "hope and change" (Obama) or "real change" (Romney) for our deliverance. Salvation is of the Lord!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Abortion in rare cases?

"We must respond to all tragic circumstances of pregnancy from the unshakeable foundation of two indisputable premises: human life begins at conception, and it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.  The unborn child’s right to life and liberty is given by his or her Creator, not by his or her parents or by the state.  The right to life is inalienable: that is, not to be trespassed upon by another."

"When the life of the mother is truly threatened by her pregnancy, if both lives cannot simultaneously be saved, then saving the mother’s life must be the primary aim.  If through our careful treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born patient inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical and is consistent with the pro-life ethic.  But the intentional killing of an unborn baby by abortion is never necessary." -- From the Official position statement of the Association of Pro-Life Physicians

Monday, November 05, 2012

Against "Civil Rights"

Historically, most Africans became Americans through the institution of slavery. Born in Africa, they were sold as slaves in America. This practice continued until a bloody war and a 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ended it.* The freed slaves were given equality under the 14th and 15th amendments, but struggled to achieve full equality through a gradual process that blossomed in the 1950s and  60s as the civil rights movement.

Now, the homosexual community in the United States has co-opted the black struggle for civil rights, pretending that these two are equivalent. Whoa! Back up. Black men and women in America were born black and were discriminated against on that basis alone. Homosexuality is not a gender. We are born male and female and choose to participate in sexual activity. Regardless of what goes on in our minds, people choose what sexual activity they will participate in, or if they will participate in any at all. Not only that, it requires two consenting adults to mutually make to the same choice. Black folks are black, period, end of story. A small child can see it. Doesn't matter what we think or if we can find two consenting adults to agree on it. On the other hand, we need psychiatrists, psychologists and other "ists" to tell us of homosexuals being born that way. Don't insult black Americans by equating the homosexual agenda for same-sex marriage with the black struggle against discrimination for merely being black.

* ratified on Dec. 6, 1865

Related:
No Rights on Maryland Question 6

Sunday, November 04, 2012

??

This morning at 2 a.m. we were once again released for a few months from government mind control.

Or, is it just another facet of that control that we move our clocks back to where we started with them when we're told??

West Tennessee articles of faith

Through the kindness of Albert Wardin of Nashville, I received copies of the Abstract of Principles of the Western District Association, 1823, and the Articles of Faith of the Forked Deer Association, 1825. To the best of my ability I transcribed these statements and Bro. Jim Duvall has posted them on the Baptist History Homepage. If you're interested in Baptist history, particularly in the western territory of Tennessee, you'll want to take a look at them. These are the two oldest associations in the western area. Baptist laity and ministers migrated from that area into other parts, especially south and west, and so they figure into Baptist history in other areas as well.

Click on the highlighted links above to go to the statements.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Biblical womanhood?

Among my random links post on Monday there was one to a Today show interview with Rachel Held Evans, who has lived and written about a year of "biblical womanhood". Whenever I post up random links, I put a disclaimer with it. But I just can't help commenting about this one. There are many things that could be said. So have already said more, and better. 

Rachel Held Evans wants people to think that she made a serious attempt at living a year of "biblical womanhood" and that it just won't work. Her entire point is to ridicule and set up shop against conservative ideas of biblical womanhood. Many may fall for it. But in the end, a close examination shows that she is the one who looks silly. Pulling Bible out of context for her own ends -- who can believe this was a biblically serious event? See her perched up on a gable roof like a squirrel doing penitence? Because she found some verse about someone -- she couldn't figure out whom -- dwelling in the corner of a housetop. Puh-leeze! And the computerized baby was a really neat trick. Bible says something about young women bearing children? Just run on down to Toys R Us get you a "Real Care Baby. Why not get twins?

Here are two responses by other women, one a book review and the other a musing of her year of womanhood. Also a few thoughts from Doug Wilson.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood Review by Kathy Keller
My year of biblical womanhood by Kim Shay
Rachel on the roof by Douglas Wilson