Thursday, April 30, 2009

Help with info on J.R. Graves

What was J. R. Graves doing during the War Between the United States and Confederate States? I am trying to help find information on Graves' activities between 1861-1865. I have not found anything specific -- just that he was a supporter of the Confederacy. Do any of you have information about this or know where such can be obtained? If so, let me know. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Face to face

HYMN 145, C. M.
Sight through a glass, and face to face.

I love the windows of thy grace,
Through which my Lord is seen,
And long to meet my Savior's face
Without a glass between.

Oh that the happy hour were come
To change my faith to sight!
I shall behold my Lord at home
In a diviner light.

Haste, my Beloved, and remove
These interposing days;
Then shall my passions all be love,
And all my powers be praise.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II, 1707

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Odds and ends

"Bro. J.B. Gambrell is a staunch defender of old time Baptist strictness and protests against entangling alliances with those not Baptists. Once in a while however he seems to favor entangling alliances with loose Baptists. In this way he may be right but as for us, we are no more inclined to yoke up with those who wear the Baptist name but refuse to stand for Baptist principles and practice than we are with Pedo-Baptists. Lloyd George is a great statesman, but as a Baptist he is not our kind." - Illinois Baptist

(The above quote was in the Illinois Baptist, the weekly paper of Southern Baptists in Illinois in July, 1920. J.B. Gambrell was a Baptist leader in Texas and Lloyd George was Prime Minister in England.) Sent by Ben Stratton

Monday, April 27, 2009

God sends Joseph to Egypt

Talking of all God's wondrous works...remembering the "marvellous works that he hath done," the Psalmist writes--

Psalm 105:17 - He [God] sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:

In selling Joseph, the sons of Jacob acted of their own sinful nature. When Joseph says of his brothers "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive," he is clearly talking about the same thing, not two different events. What is the antecedent of "it"? God either meant it or He didn't. Joseph says He did. If any of us say otherwise, we say differently than God's word. God neither forced their actions nor simply knew in advance what they would do. It is that their evil, meant by them as evil, He chose to bring about good. Joseph would not have been in Egypt to deliver the sons of Jacob if they had not sold him in slavery (as well the rest of the chain of events where God's Providence put him in the exact places at the exact times). God chose that it be so. It would not be some other way. But his choice was not causative. He did not make the evil enter into their heart.

God is good in His means as well as in His ends. Is not Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery part of God's means? He might have theoretically gotten there any number of ways. But he did not. Neither does the Bible indicate that God meant that Joseph get there some other way. Did God have to wait to see what choice the brothers would make and then figure out something from there, in time? Or did He purpose from eternity what He would do?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Benefits of the study of Church History

Some good points, in my opinion:

Benefits to be gained from the study of Church History

A. A perspective informed by a sense of continuity
1. The whole family in heaven and earth (Eph.3:14)
2. Connecting the canonical history with our own time (Acts 28ff)
3. Escape from the theological and ecclesiastical provincialism (1 Cor.14:36).
B. The encouragement of a Godly Heritage
1. The great cloud of witnesses (Heb.11; 12:1)
2. Perspective on persecution (James 5:10-11)
C. Learning from the mistakes of others (1 Cor.10:6-10)
1. A wise man learns from others’ mistakes, a fool must make his own.
2. Those who will not study history are doomed to repeat it.

From "Church History" by Steve Gregg

Friday, April 24, 2009

Texas Baptist history

The Baptist History Homepage has created a page for Texas Baptist history. Click HERE.

It doesn't contain a lot of information right now, but hopefully it will grow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Redland and Pine Grove

Two singing in Rusk County this weekend -- see the following links for more information.

Pine Grove

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jonah, a great fish and a whale

A common modern complaint about the book of Jonah is “a whale is not a fish”. Jonah 1:17 speaks of “a great fish” and “whale” is used in Matthew 12:40. This can become a complicated debate for some, but let us reserve the debate over technicalities to within “the family”. There is no reason to run from this issue like a frightened schoolchild. Let us stand firm, look the scientist and skeptic in the eye and say, “God is sovereign.” God is the Sovereign of the universe and the Creator of all things. He is under no obligation to categorize fish and mammals by the classifications some modern scientist has chosen. He is the creator of the whale. He can call it what He wants. When you or I can place a man inside a big fish or whale and keep him alive for three days and three nights, maybe we will have earned some right to call him what we wish.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Jonah?

Any thoughts on why God chose Jonah to preach to the Ninevites? Some people seem to be of the impression that he was all God had or the best God could locate at the time. I don't believe that. Jonah was not the only prophet of God in this period (he prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II; II Kings 14:25). Other prophets of the roughly the same period include Isaiah, in Judah the latter part of Jeroboam’s reign (Isaiah 1:1; 6:8; II Kings 15:1); Hosea, mostly to Israel, about the same time as Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 1:1 with Hosea 1:1); and Amos, from Judah, who prophesied in Israel (Amos 1:1; 7:14-15). Seeing we find some prophets and might find more on closer inspection, might we assume God wasn't hard put to find a prophet and just "settled" on Jonah? If so, why Jonah?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Submission and deliverance

HYMN 129, L. M.

Submission and deliverance; or, Abraham offering up his son. Gen. 22:6, etc.

Saints, at your heav'nly Father's word
Give up your comforts to the Lord;
He shall restore what you resign,
Or grant you blessings more divine.

So Abram with obedient hand
Led forth his son at God's command;
The wood, the fire, the knife, he took,
His arm prepared the dreadful stroke.

"Abram, forbear!" the angel cried,
Thy faith is known, thy love is tried
Thy son shall live, and in thy seed
Shall the whole earth be blest indeed."

Just in the last distressing hour
The Lord displays deliv'ring power;
The mount of danger is the place
Where we shall see surprising grace.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We're travelling to the grave

HYMN 55, C. M.

Frail life, and succeeding eternity.

Thee we adore, Eternal Name,
And humbly own to thee
How feeble is our mortal frame!
What dying worms are we!

Our wasting lives grow shorter still
As months and days increase;
And every beating pulse we tell
Leaves but the number less.

The year rolls round, and steals away
The breath that first it gave;
Whate'er we do, where'er we be,
We're trav'lling to the grave.

Dangers stand thick through all the ground
To push us to the tomb,
And fierce diseases wait around,
To hurry mortals home.

Great God! on what a slender thread
Hang everlasting things!
Th' eternal states of all the dead
Upon life's feeble strings.

Infinite joy or endless woe
Attends on every breath,
And yet how unconcerned we go
Upon the brink of death!

Waken, O Lord! our drowsy sense,
To walk this dangerous road;
And if our souls be hurried hence,
May they be found with God.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II, 1707.

Friday, April 17, 2009

History review

"Baptists need desperately to review their own Baptist history, re-think the Baptist old position and rediscover the Baptist conscience." -- evidently by John Reaves Sr. in the unattributed article The Universal Church Heresy

Baptist Pillar

It is my observation that most Baptists don't "know their history", even some of those who think they do.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

French word of the day

dernier resort -- last, or final resort; a means of last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted

In a sentence:
"This instrument, which from time immemorial has been associated with cathedral pomp and prelatical power, and has always been the peculiar favorite of great national churches, at length found its way into Baptist sanctuaries, and the first one ever employed by the denomination in this country, and probably in any other, might have been seen standing in the singing gallery of the old Baptist meeting house in Pawtucket, about forty years ago, where I then officiated as pastor; and in process of time, this dernier resort in church music was adopted by many of our societies which had formerly been distinguished for their primitive and conventicle plainness."
-- From Fifty Years among the Baptists, by David Benedict, pp. 282-83

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy tax day

Happy taxing be taxed day. On top of that tax, school districts are engulfed in TAKS.

This day should be a holiday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Real and ideal

"Real things cannot usually stand up to our vision of ideal things." -- Gary Ledbetter in Is There a Church within Your Church? (Center for Theological Research, March 2009)

Do we forget the ideal and settle down with the real?
Do we live with the real and strive for the ideal?
Do we ignore the real and pretend to be ideal?
Do we just throw up our hands?


Monday, April 13, 2009

True Servant

Heard this on the radio from Charles Stanley:
"Based on those words, many churches have made foot washing an obligation. They believe this act shows Christlikeness and demonstrates willingness to 'serve'. Perhaps that’s true for some believers. But, many perform the ceremony solely out of obedience. Jesus’ message to the disciples and to modern believers is not literally to wash dirty feet. He wants us to serve one another with humility and love."

John 13 -- The true servant
The true servant does not wait to be asked to serve (sensitive to needs; volunteers)
The true servant does not criticize others who don't serve (doesn't compare with others; not looking for recognition).
The true servant serves without expecting reciprocation (not giving to receive)
The true servant learns to receive as well as give (pride not only keeps us from giving, but from receiving as well).
The true servant serves those who reject him (Judas, e.g.)

On the first quote, I don't completely agree because I don't think it has to be either/or. The five points on the true servant seem valid and true to the text/context.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

"The average Baptist takes no stock of Easter, and the like, not that he does not believe in the resurrection; not that people may not observe days; but, like Paul, he is skittish of these extras and prefers the plain, old, level Jordan road, with a steady incline up, all the way till it reaches the city of God." -- J. B. Gambrell, from The Baptist Standard, May 1907

I wonder if Gambrell would recognize "the average Baptist" today?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coming soon a Redland Church (possibly) near you!!


Saturday, April 25, 2009
Old Redland Methodist Church/Community Center
Corner of FM 1798 and FM2 496
Laneville, Texas
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Christian Harmony Revision

*"First ever" as far as records and memories go; we have neither records nor memories of Christian Harmony singings in Texas. It is possible there could have been.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Of cars and garages

Someone said, "being in church no more makes you a Christian than being in your garage makes you a car."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Someone said

Someone said the family is the basic building block of society. Would you agree?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Problems" of successionism

I use the word "problems" in quotes, because the first two of these are usually only problems to those who do not believe in Baptist succession, and the third is a self-created problem by those who do.

Definition. The idea of church perpetuity or successionism may vary a bit among Baptists, but in this post I am using it to mean: "there has never been a day since the organization of the first New Testament church in which there was no genuine church of the New Testament faith existing on earth, and that this will continue to the end of the age."

Historical problem. The historical problem is a problem of the preservation of valid records and the interpretation of those records. No local church can demonstrate a valid succession all the way through history back to Christ. Neither is it historically demonstrable that every day and every year has had a New Testament church existing. This seems to be a problem for some who reject perpetuity, but those whose accept it usually do so on the basis of the words of Jesus "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it", et al. Church perpetuity is based on the promise of Jesus Christ, and historical research is just a sideline. Historical research is much more likely to run across some heresy that puts one "out of the line" of the true church than to discover the links in a chain all the way back to the time of Jesus.

Theological problem. The theological problem exists for those who believe the promise of continuance is only for some kind of universal mystical invisible thing they call a church. This creates a debate over the meaning of scripture between those who believe that and those who believe in the promise for a visible church.

Historical/theological problem. This last one is my main point. There is a historical/theological problem for those Landmarkers who build up complicated theories on what makes a church lose its candlestick, when in fact they have churches of that very sort in their theological lineage. Can a church that teaches the universal church teaching be a New Testament church? Can a church that practices close communion be a New Testament church? Can a church that practices open communion be a New Testament church? Etc. This is where some create a theological/historical problem. Their theology does not match their history. If a gathering of believers holding universal church and/or close communion is not a Scriptural church, how does one deal with such in their church ancestry? Let me say plainly that I have seen time and again folks boldly proclaim this type church or that type church is not scriptural, to only stick their collective heads in the sand when challenged with such a church in their own ancestry.

Most successionists probably cannot trace their Baptist heritage back more than one hundred years without finding close communion, and not more than 300 without finding some kind of church of the redeemed idea. If so, one might need to check out his or her own baptism rather than just pointing fingers at others.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Something new

"It is not our job to brainstorm and come up with something new, and then seek to add God to it. It is not our job to create an approach to ministry, and then beg God to bless it. Our job is to read the Word of God, understand and know the Will of God, and then get on board with the Lord. We do not ask the Lord to go the direction we are going, we ask the Lord to show us clearly the direction He is going and then we go in that direction." -- Joe White

Friday, April 03, 2009

Love to enemies

Psalm 35 Part 2 v.12-14, C. M.

Love to enemies; or, The love of Christ to sinners typify'd in David.

Behold the love, the generous love,
That holy David shows;
Behold his kind compassion move
To his afflicted foes!

When they are sick his soul complains,
And seems to feel the smart;
The spirit of the gospel reigns,
And melts his pious heart.

How did his flowing tears condole
As for a brother dead!
And fasting mortified his soul,
While for their life he prayed.

They groaned, and cursed him on their bed,
Yet still he pleads and mourns;
And double blessings on his head
The righteous God returns.

O glorious type of heavenly grace!
Thus Christ the Lord appears;
While sinners curse, the Savior prays,
And pities them with tears.

He, the true David, Israel's King,
Blest and beloved of God,
To save us rebels, dead in sin,
Paid his own dearest blood.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Latin word for today

mirabile dictu (Latin): wonderfully, amazingly; wonderful to relate; It's a miracle!

Used in a sentence:
"Repeatedly, Dodd insisted that he had had nothing to do with the bonus-protection language in the, ahem, Dodd Amendment until, mirabile dictu, he remembered that he had." -- "Forget Bonus Outrage, What About 'ShariAIG?'" by Diana West, Henderson Daily News, March 26, 2009, p. 2

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools

Happy April Fool's Day. I'm not going to post anything today.

....Oh, I just did.