Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Brief History of Baptists

There are different ways to approach a history of Baptists. One is by studying the Chronology, Creeds, and Organizations. Another way is by comparing the beliefs and looking for similarities and differences among different groups. “The Trail of Blood” http://www.biblepreaching.com/trailofblood.html uses this second method. Some of the groups it mentions are Donatists, Walendsians Petrobrusians and Anabaptists. The position of the Trail of Blood is that these groups make a trail of belief back to John the Baptist. They are looking for a connection in belief rather than organic unity, as opposed to the Catholic and Orthodox churches which rely on organizational ties and connections (Pope to Pope, Patriarch to Patriarch, for example.)

Another method is by using a combination approach of the first two methods. I will use this method and be dealing with American Baptists. American Baptists begin with Roger Williams and the New Providence Colony. The Pilgrims were English Separatists. Separatists did not think the Church of England could be fixed and so they “separated” from it. The Massachusetts Colony consisted of Puritans. Puritans wanted to remain in the Church of England and “purify” it from errors they saw.

Roger Williams was an ordained Puritan Minister in Massachusetts. He went to England and obtained a charter for a new colony. He paid Indians for their land. He had many people who were thrown out of other colonies join him as refugees. He searched the Scriptures to learn what they taught about Church government and set up a congregational form. He closely followed the Puritan/Separatist form of church government.

The individual congregations owned their property. There was no denominational or outside organization. As Americans expanded westward many others accepted this Baptist belief or system. They merged with German Anabaptists, though the true German Anabaptists are represented today by the Amish/Mennonite communities, over 10 million strong in North America.

The Philadelphia Confession of Faith is the major American Baptist statement of faith. http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/phila.htm  ” On this site it gives two dates. “The Philadelphia Confession is identical to the Second London Confession of Faith (1689), except that chapters 23 and 31 have been added (with other chapters appropriately renumbered). This [more recent] confession was first issued by the Philadelphia Association in 1742.”

Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists were the three major denominations as Americans moved westward. Methodists emphasized Arminianism with camp meetings and well-educated clergy, creating a shortage of pastors and the Circuit Rider with many small congregations.

Presbyterians also emphasized well-educated clergy and Calvinism. They were likely to be found in more established towns but less likely on the frontier. Both Methodists and Presbyterians had denominational ownership of property and denominationally-appointed clergy.

Baptists were often Calvinistic but varied widely. Freewill Baptists opposed Calvinism and Predestination. They often cooperated with Methodists in evangelistic meetings because they both believed in the need to make a decision for salvation rather than predestination.

Each Baptists congregation calls and pays its own pastor unlike the other denominations. At one time this was true of all Baptist churches but it caused severe problems in raising missionary support. Associations were created to raise missionary support. The largest is the Southern Baptist Convention. Northern Baptist Churches split from Southern Baptist Churches during the Civil War. The Northern Baptists from this split came to be known as the General Association of Regular Baptists. There are many other Baptist conventions/associations.

Two good reference sources on Baptists are:

Dr. David Beale’s book, In Pursuit of Purity http://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Purity-Soft-David-Beale/dp/0890843503 Is a very good source on Baptists.

George W. Dollar The History of Fundamentalism in America http://www.amazon.com/History-Fundamentalism-America-George-Dollar/dp/B0000EEKZL

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Two Mommies?

All across the Internet articles are appearing with the titles are “Two Mommies” or “Three Parents.” Of course these emotionally charged titles are not quite telling the whole story. Human testing has been requested on a procedure that is successful in eradicating some genetic diseases in mice, rats and larger animals.

I would normally link to the original story, but these accounts are so full of highly charged Secular Humanist bias that it is difficult to read the account objectively.

When a woman’s egg is fertilized, there is DNA in the nucleus which is a combination of the DNA of the mother and father. DNA outside of the nucleus, known as mitochondrial DNA is only the mother’s DNA. The new baby comes from the DNA in the nucleus. Mitochondrial DNA controls how the cell works. When this Mitochondrial DNA is defective, genetic deficits are transmitted to the child.

A new technique has proved effective in mice, rats and primates in eradicating some genetic defects. It assumes that the Doctor knows which genetic diseases are contained entirely in the Mitochondrial DNA. It also assumes this is a moral procedure.

A fertilized human egg from a woman with diseased mitochondrial DNA has the fertilized nucleus removed. An unfertilized human egg from a woman with nondiseased Mitochondrial DNA has the nucleus removed and discarded. The fertilized human nucleus is then implanted in the nondiseased egg and reimplanted in the original woman with diseased Mitochondrial DNA. A normal healthy child is born. Without this procedure, the child is likely to have a genetic defect, such as Downs Syndrome.

Is it ethical? Is it moral? Is it adultery?

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Belief Excerpts from Antidisestablishmentarianism I from Chapter 11. What Is Science to a Secular Humanist?

Like any religion which enthrones man in God’s place, there is a desperate and irrational need to attack true religion. “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence,”3 says Richard Dawkins. In the Bible, in the founding documents of US history and in the US court system prior to the liberal takeover, belief was (and still is in reality) a legal term. Belief is the decision of a juror based on evidence. Faith is the action one takes based on belief based on tested evidence. The modern Secular Humanist twists the word “faith ” to mean the opposite of its historical definition. “Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”4 This is the “blind leap of faith ” of Karl Barth and neo-orthodoxy, not the historic meaning of faith found in the Bible and US history.

The faith of the secularist, which is truly “in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence,” has a religious belief that the material universe is all that is, was or ever will be. The material universe is the ultimate reality. “Who is more humble?” asked Carl Sagan, “The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book [the Bible] must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?”5 Sagan is pretending humility while arrogantly dismissing the possibility that God might have actually written down His words out of love for his creation.

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1 Pierre Charron, De la sagesse (Of Wisdom, In Three Parts), French version, 1601, Translated by Samson Lennard, Eliot’s Court Press for Edward Blount and Will, Aspley, London, c.1615.

2 Charles Watts, “The Secularist’s Catechism,” complied in an undated book published by Watts & Co. entitled: Pamphlets by Charles Watts, Vol. I, originally written in 1896.

3 Richard Dawkins, from a speech at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, April 15, 1992.

4 Dawkins, The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: “Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder,” BBC1 Television November 12, 1996.

5 Carl Sagan, in an interview with Charlie Rose, late-night PBS talk show host, 1996.

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What is Salvation?

“The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10)

Since we are all sinners, we need to have our sins atoned for. Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb of God “gave his life a ransom for many.”

First we must recognize that we are sinners in need of salvation. Then we must understand that as a sinner there is nothing we can do to atone for our own sin or bring about our own salvation. But salvation is like a marriage, it is not a 50%/50% relationship, it is a 100%/100% relationship.

Though salvation is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5) we still have total responsibility to serve God. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)

Our works are technically called Sanctification, since only God can work the work of Salvation.

God also commands us to be fruit inspectors. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20) But we must be very careful to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit. The parable of the wheat and the tares illustrates our difficulty. Tares are a variety of weed which look very much like wheat until the time comes to produce seeds. The Bible teaches us that seemingly wicked men, such as Abraham’s nephew Lot are actually righteous. Others that appear to be righteous, even talking with God, such as Balaam, are actually evil. In the matter of salvation, we must be very careful to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

The fruit (works) we are to look for is a love for the Lord, a desire to fulfill the great commission and the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith).

Our beliefs on the doctrine of salvation are written down in detail in our books, Findley Family Video Biblical Studies and Antidisestablishmentarianism. The Biblical Studies books are written for homeschool so there is a student and a teacher’s edition. The only difference is that the teacher’s edition contains the answers. They include our commentary on Great Doctrines of the Bible by Evans. All of these are available in ebook format and all four books (Our three and Evans, which can be obtained free online) can be purchased for less then $10 total.

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They Got More Than Hannah’s Blessing — A review of Hannah’s Blessing by Collette Scott

If any contemporary romance gave excellent advice to its readers, it’s this one. It tells lovers, and readers, not to make assumptions. It reminded me a lot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There is a small amount of language and non-graphic sexual reference in the book dealt with appropriately for any adult or young adult reader.

I mostly read romance because I write romance. Sometimes after I finish one I want that piece of my life back. This one charmed me from beginning to end. Collette Scott writes about real people. The book explores the consequences of our assumption-making. It also makes an excellent point about how many people we can affect or hurt with the best of intentions. There are so many fun and interesting secondary characters in the book.

Diana, the main character, starts the story as a wronged woman. The fate of her husband was a perfect “let the punishment fit the crime” irony. The title character, their daughter Hannah, unwittingly brings into Diana’s life her late husband’s stepbrother, Devlan, who has made his niece his sole heir. Devlan’s rich, handsome, brilliant, successful, and yet can’t manage to communicate clearly to the one person in the world who matters most. It’s not Hannah. She loves, trusts, and relies on him with all the sweet innocence of a child in spite of his social blunders.

Diana is deeply wounded after six years of marriage to the wrong brother. She has listened to lies, tried to trust, and felt the pain of betrayal too long. Devlan, experienced with business, celebrity and all the rest of life, is too inexperienced with “real” women to win her trust. Diana is a runner, and how and why she runs from Devlan is pretty stunning. How and why he finally decides it’s time to chase her, and how that turns out is also stunning.

http://www.amazon.com/Hannahs-Blessing-Collette-Scott/dp/1463539967

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I am a Trucker’s Wife

We travel all over the forty-eight states, so we see a lot of life. This does not make us experts, but we want to attempt to show how our culture is on a downhill slide, mostly because of sin and secular humanism. There are people who don’t speak English and don’t intend to learn, people who want space for their religion but don’t want us to have any for ours, people who are infected with the deadly diseases of damnation-directed thinking, don’t know it, and won’t be convinced of it. They think they’re ok, and we’d be ok too if we could just shut up about that Bible stuff. Sorry, no can do. It’s the only thing that matters.

I say “we” when I talk about my husband and I and what our future holds because I consider our lives to be united and our goals and plans to be intertwined. Charles Dickens, in David Copperfield, has a young female character who married a much older man. When asked about the state of their marriage by a person who tried to make her worry about potential gossip and speculation, she said simply, “We have a unity of mind and purpose.” Women who talk about being truckers’ wives usually point out the separation, the loneliness and the need for them to be apart yet to trust and wait. These women are simply enduring, and it sounds like their lives together are on hold, stagnant. I think that’s a bit selfish, with all due respect for the truth of these points. The two of you are one. Isn’t he lonely, too? Doesn’t he need to trust you? Men have been leaving their wives alone for necessary careers for centuries: Military, diplomatic, evangelistic missions and pioneering are just a few. And for centuries women have been guilty of betraying trust and deciding they couldn’t handle the loneliness as well as men.

The first thing you must do is stop being selfish. Don’t think you aren’t. Don’t believe you’re sacrificing so much just by agreeing to be a trucker’s wife in the first place. Think again. You agreed to get married, and that took you out of the category where you get to say, “I” very often. You have a husband. You may have children. Responsibilities keep expanding, such as a house, a car, and other things you own or have and have to pay for. If you own the truck he drives there can be a whole new set of responsibilities. These things are the responsibility of both members of the marriage, yet women pour out their resentment, saying, “He went away and left me to handle all this.” The problem is magnified exponentially in a bad economy where you may not be making enough money to handle anything except collection calls.

Here comes my “I” paragraph. I said a wife doesn’t get to say “I” much but here are the things that are just “me” things, the stuff I do that I have to do myself or to keep the crazies away and that he doesn’t really take part in. While I was living at home and he was on the road, I found many things to occupy my time. I always worked, at least part time, usually full time with overtime, as a book editor, childcare and eldercare giver, teacher, factory worker, office assistant, receptionist, clerk, and other occupations. I write, obviously, producing puppet scripts, short stories and novels. I have written scripts for Cable TV commercials, a local museum video tour and an in-store infomercial as well as church programs. I draw, and create craft items, and serve in churches, making puppets, putting on plays, designing bulletin boards and decoration for programs as well as writing and test-teaching original church teaching materials and creating the crafts to accompany them. I also polish and convert my husband’s writing to book format or video scripts. Our dream is still alive, of course, to make the video work a reality in the future.

Let me return to the reality of the near-present. My husband was on the road. I had a 3rd shift temp job which I took after two years of “stable” but health-wrecking 12 hr shift factory work. My changing jobs helped our older children out with transportation since we would all be working at the same place. Our youngest had just gone into the military. It became clear that I was not going to be hired on permanently at the place I worked. Our elder two children, while still living at home, had jobs and our daughter’s car as backup to get to work.

My husband and I decided to go on the road together, especially since attending our son’s graduation from boot camp required a trip to Fort Leonardwood, MO and it was the only way I was going to get there. I elected not to get my CDL but to support him by helping with all the paperwork I was legally allowed to do and assisting in trip planning, handling phone use and load finding. I have talked to many husband and wife team drivers and the women always agreed with my decision not to drive. We have met many teams who cannot get enough work to support both of them. Besides, I freely admit to being a basket case when it comes to backing up and that’s pretty much the bulk of a trucker’s job, with a giant rectangle tagging along behind.

This also gave us the opportunity to work on writing and researching the books and videos we want to produce, to be together to brainstorm and polish ideas, and to restore the unity of mind and purpose that flags when you’re apart. We read Scriptures, comment on what we’ve read, deal with the bill collectors together, and it is in all ways better. The economy is still bad, and may be getting worse. Our house is in danger of forclosure, our daughter wrecked her car trying to travel on icy roads and ended up with our car, and both our older children were laid off and had to move to find other jobs and housing. It looks like soon the truck will be our only home. That simplifies life, in some ways. No utility bills, except the cell phones and computer to look for loads and do research for our projects. We are newly returned to being owner operators, which makes for a much less simple life, but we hope it will soon begin to pay off. Our last truck blew the engine with one payment left but once again company driver was not for us.

Life in the truck is not easy. The bed is small and so are the cabinets. Eating on the road is expensive but so is an electrical system that supports a microwave and a refrigerator, as well as making the space to install them. Chances to get to a regular store, even a Walmart, are scarce. We shower and do laundry at truckstops.

Several women have bitten their tongues as they asked me how I like living in the truck because they want so badly to tell me what my opinion should be.

My opinion is that I am better with him than without him, whatever the hardships might be. And he keeps saying he is better with me than without me. I get cranky and resent all the stuff that I have to do and he puts up with that. He gets so focused on the job and the mileage and the performance of the truck and I have to put up with that. He talks to everybody he meets, mechanics, other truckers, any people who can add to that staggering store of knowledge he’s got in that head of his. I hate to talk to people but I realize how much this habit of his has helped us. We see a lot of countryside, even if we do spend a lot of time walking through oil and smelling diesel and listening to idling trucks and whining reefers. We’ve been to places in Canada and back and forth across this country. We’ve listened to volunteers in truckstop churches doing their best to minister to some hard cases. We’ve been in churches where people praised God for truckers.

So, to truckers’ wives who need to vent, I say it works both ways. Except your husband’s too busy driving, so instead of venting, take every chance you get to run him up, not run him down. Love him, instead of resenting him. Dwell on what makes him great, not what makes you miserable. Sure, I’m with mine and you’re not with yours, and it may not be possible for you to go, because your children are still young. I was there, too, but I still had to stop people and my own mind from making me resent the way things were and are. Help him and help yourself by refusing to rise to the temptation of complaining or of sounding like a martyr. Focus on what you are together, what good married couples have always been, stronger together than apart. Unified in mind and purpose. Together, always, whatever, forever.

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Viral Video by Jefferson Bethke: “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus.”

Jefferson Bethke, from his Facebook page

Jefferson Bethke of Tacoma, WA posted a Youtube video on 1/10/2012 which has 10,886,714 views as of 1/15/2012 which is entitled “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus.” Because of some of the more outlandish comments people posted, he posted this on his facebook page on Friday 1/13/2012 “If you are using my video to bash ‘the church’ be careful. I was in no way intending to do that… The Church is Jesus’ bride so be careful how you speak of His wife. If a normal dude has right to get pissed when you bash His wife, it makes me tremble to think how great the weight is when we do it to Jesus’ wife. The church is His vehicle to reach a lost word. A hospital for sinners. Saying you love Jesus but hate the Church, is like a fiancé saying he loves his future bride, but hates her kids. We are all under grace. Look to Him.”

This is not a line by line analysis, but this is in response to some of the uproar it has created.

It opens with the words “What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?” Very simple: then you are wrong. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. The Law is the religion God Himself set up under Moses. Jesus opposed hypocrisy and false religion, but he did not come to abolish religion. Christianity is both a relationship with Jesus the Christ and a religion.

Many of the questions he asks are obviously true, but like so many true statements are either misleading or dishonest. For example, Jefferson Bethke says, “What if I told you ‘Republican’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘Christian’?” I have never met, talked to, read about or heard of anyone who either believes that or believes anything like that. This is a either a straw man argument, that is, deliberately misrepresenting your opposition or religious hypocritical mockery. It is an appeal to man’s pride, the “I am not like this so I am better than you” type of pride. Voting for righteousness is important and the democratic party disdains righteousness. Why do we who vote Republican, understanding that we are choosing the lesser of two evils, have to be mocked by you?

But the worst lines are the outright lies. “I mean, if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?” This is one of the Big Lies atheists constantly use against us. The Christian Religion has never started a war. period. False religions start wars and Christian use the military to defend themselves when attacked, but the Christian Religion has never, ever started a war.

“Why does it build huge churches but fails to feed the poor?” The Law commanded the building of the temple, mostly of gold, yet Jesus said “For you always have the poor with you.” Matthew 26:11 The greatest help to the poor the world has ever seen are the hospitals, orphanages, poor houses, retirement homes, rescue missions, etc. built by the Religion of Christianity.

“Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce?” The Religion of Christianity does not say that. Anyone who says this is not a Christian.

Though there are many hypocrites who fit the descriptions he gives, he fails to realize that by condemning all religion, he is just another hypocrite. “Now I ain’t judging, I’m just sayin’, ‘Quit puttin’ on a fake look.'” Yes, you are judging.

“Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools Don’t you see it’s so much better than just following some rules?” Jesus hated hypocrisy, not religion. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, as well as the rest of the Law. He is equating religion with the Law.

The key to this video are the lines “Now back to the point: One thing is vital to mention How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums See, one’s the work of God, but one’s a man-made invention” If he means by religion the works of sinful man to obtain salvation by his own efforts, then this section is entirely correct. But that is not the Religion of Christianity.

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. A proper relationship with Jesus Christ will fill you with the power of His holy spirit to obey His Word. This is the Religion of Christianity.

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