Vacation Bible School Day One

Yesterday we got off to a great start in Vacation Bible School. I am not sure the exact number in attendance but it was a lot—there were boys and girls everywhere.

Yesterday truth number one that was taught and reinforced by everything we did was God is Real! And God is Powerful.

We looked at the burning bush that kept on burning and everything about Moses' encounter with God in Exodus 3.

Today, truth number two is Jesus is God's Son. This is an incredible truth. Jesus is God's Son is the way you can confirm two different people are talking about the same God. If two people are talking about a long lost college roommate who is now a family man one when you can determine if you are talking about the same person is to ask if they are married and if they have any children. One might say the guy I am talking about got married to Sally and the other may NO not this guy—he never got married.

The God of Christianity has a Son who name is Jesus—this is the important truth we will be sharing and reinforcing in an effort to convince the boys and girls that this is an Absolute Truth they should embrace for life.

We are calling them "unshakeable truths."

Finally, to all you who are deployed what I would ask from you is to pray—pray that God's truth will take hold in the hearts and minds of boys and girls as faith—salvific faith—faith that leads to repentance unto salvation.

Monday, June 16th

Last night Pam, Austin and I were able to spend some time with missionaries Pastor Rick Kelly and his wife Joy. What a great time we able getting to know these incredible servants of our Lord Jesus. Their effort on the field has impacted countless lives and they seem to be exceptionally Spirit-filled balanced followers of Jesus. They need more support in order to start a church in Guam and it appears that God intends for them to be in Guam because of the numerous ways he has answered prayers and provided for the significant needs to move forward. BBC can help them and we should.

This morning, I am off to the Cape Fear Hospital and then will meet with the principals, lunch with a member and staff meeting with the Pastors.

I think I see the way we will divide the final chapter of Nehemiah into two messages and then we will move to a New Testament book—please pray that God will show me what book.

I am behind in writing a book critique for a church history class I am taking and ask that you would pray I can get this done by Wednesday.

The curriculum revision of 1st CLASS is going exceptionally well—soon we will have it posted on line for church members to browse through as time permits.

I had a good Fathers Day and enjoyed having lunch with a potential Youth Pastor and his wife—Scott has been interning at Central Baptist in Dunn and his wife is a first grade teacher. Please pray that God would lead your pastor in making the right decision concerning a replacement for Steve.

My good friend Mike is home from Iraq and I hope we can squeeze in some time to get to together before he has to return. We all will be so glad when the deployments are OVER!

Pray for Mike and all the other men and women who are deployed.


Three Cheers for the SBC

The Southern Baptist Convention is to be applauded by Independent Baptists for adopting the resolution below during their most recent annual event. Now while I am not crazy about the money pooling that occurs in the convention to support liberal universities, I do appreciate the spirit of this resolution tremendously. The SBC has the resources to collect data that totals the members in the convention's churches—16.2 million. It also has the ability to determine approximately how many of that 16.2 million are in church in all SBC churches—6.1 million. That means that well over 10 million professing baptized Christians with a membership in a local SBC Baptist church are providentially hindered or playing hooky. When you include the reality that some percent of people in attendance each Sunday are visitors, it is conceivable that on most Sundays for every one church member in worship there are two at home for a membership in a SBC church. This resolution calls on local churches to clean up the rolls. The concern is "professing" Christians have joined the church and because they are not truly converted there isn't a burning desire to constantly participate in corporate worship. Regenerate church membership is a membership that is focused on ensuring the roll is made up of only those who are born-again.

This has been my desire for two years. BBC's membership class gives me an opportunity to look for fruit—the fruit of conversion. There is no sure method and people do complete the class who later stop attending and this is precisely where church disciple comes into practice. Baptist churches cannot and must not allow "professing" Christians retain their church membership while they constantly ignore the weekly call to corporate worship, fellowship and Bible study. If the "liberal" SBC has proclaimed corporate repentance in the matter of unregenerate church membership, how much more should fundamental Baptists be concerned about membership rolls that are full of people who professed a faith in Christ yet give no evidence of conversion. While it can be argued without debate that we can't know the heart, we do know that those who are converted become new creatures in Christ. A "professing" Christian left without church discipline because of his failure to assemble and participate in the church Christ died for could be lulled into a false sense of eternal security. The church that initiates contact and strives for spiritual restoration could be helping a brother get right (Gal 6.1; James 5:19-20) or could be tearing down an obstacle interfering with the drawing of the unconverted to the Son by the Father (John 6.44; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). The Christian whose profession is not supported by evidence of conversion might need to be separated from local church membership to respond to an invitation to attend another church or an invitation to receive Christ—being outside the umbrella of church membership could be just what it takes to wake-up.

This is tough stuff—keeping the membership purged at BBC requires names to be presented at nearly every business meeting. Members need to see and hear about this—it is supposed to help keep the local body of Christ absent of the wickedness of idolatry and faithfulness to Christ. An unregenerate member worships the creature over the Creator in a state of being deceived because the god of this world has blinded their eyes to the truth.

6. On Regenerate Church Membership And Church Member Restoration
June 2008

WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing the church as a "local congregation of baptized believers"; and

WHEREAS, A New Testament church is composed only of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the local church's only Lord, by grace through faith (John 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), which church practices believers' only baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:16-20), and the Lord's supper (Matthew 26:26-30); and

WHEREAS, Local associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention compile statistics reported by the churches to make decisions for the future; and

WHEREAS, The 2007 Southern Baptist Convention annual Church Profiles indicate that there are 16,266,920 members in Southern Baptist churches; and

WHEREAS, Those same profiles indicate that only 6,148,868 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures admonish us to exercise church discipline as we seek to restore any professed brother or sister in Christ who has strayed from the truth and is in sin (Matthew 18:15-35; Galatians 6:1); and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, urge churches to maintain a regenerate membership by acknowledging the necessity of spiritual regeneration and Christ's lordship for all members; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge our churches to maintain accurate membership rolls for the purpose of fostering ministry and accountability among all members of the congregation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of the failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior's teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and their pastors to implement a plan to minister to, counsel, and restore wayward church members based upon the commands and principles given in Scripture (Matthew 18:15-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20).

My Thoughts:


The final paragraph in the above resolution is tough. "Implement a plan to minister to, counsel and restore wayward church members." How much energy should the pastoral staff put forth toward this task of ministry, counsel and restore? Every member a minister must be a factor in this task. Why is it the pastor's job? Is this what he gets paid to do? Perhaps. But why do we have to beg "professing" Christians to come to church? When I got right with God in 1988 no one had to beg me to come to BBC. I wanted to be in the worship, preaching, fellowship, and Bible studies.


Every under-shepherd in the church must be concerned about wayward church members. Either they are loved back into faithful attendance or their relationship with the church by membership is severed while their participation may continue; hopefully toward either conversion or full discipleship.


We don't need a resolution we need resolve to do what is right against perceptions that this is unkind and not Christ like. It is just the opposite—what does it profit a man to be a "member" of a church for a lifetime and loose his soul?

Historical Fundamentalism

In the day and age when fundamentalism means a particular translation, preferred music and ladies only wear dresses it might be good to read an article about historic fundamentalism.

This article is worthy of the time it will take for you to download it and read it.

If the hyper link doesn't work copy and paste this URL into your browser and download the pdf article that it links to.

For those who have time the footnote are very educational.

A Letter from a Preacher

This morning I received an email asking me to direct soldiers who are PCSing (moving) to community X to independent Baptist church XYZ. Obviously before I can make such a recommendation I have to investigate, so I did what I would expect every member of BBC to do. I went to their website and pulled up their statement of faith. I copied what their website said for your review. Item number one dealt with the Word of God. I appreciated that. Communicating one's stand on the Bible in the beginning is very important. So let's take a moment and examine this statement and see what we think. Now BBC uses the KJV and believes it to be a very good literal word for word translation of the Bible. Our Articles of Faith makes it clear that the KJV is the Bible we use, but this article of faith from church XYZ communicates a different message. Let me show you what I mean.

Church XYZ


1.  ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES.  We believe that only the Authorized King James Version (1611) is the inspired, preserved, and infallible Word of God.

First, I have to wonder why are we including the 1611 date? The 1611 AV KJV Bible is not readily available for purchase. It is impossible to get it in a good study Bible. Furthermore, the font types, character variations and different spellings would make it nearly impossible to read and comprehension would be exceptionally low.

Second, why would one include the 1611 date when the 1611 AV KJV was published and distributed with the Apocrypha? It had 80 books not 66 books. Now I know this preacher doesn't have the Apocrypha in his preaching Bible, and I am sure he does not reference any of the Apocrypha books, but it is important to realize that a direct reference to 1611 implies something. But what is the point of pointing someone to a date that isn't truly reflective of the Bible the church uses? BBC uses the KJV but not 1611. We use the most recent revision; the Authorized King James Version on my Logos Bible software is dated 1769.

Third, notice what is inspired, preserved and infallible—the 1611 is inspired, preserved and infallible. The translators were inspired, but there isn't a single Bible verse that justifies this statement. The original authors of the 66 canonical books were the ones inspired. That's what the Bible teaches. There are NO prophetical references to a time in the future in which God would inspire one particular group of translators unlike he has or ever will inspire such a group. Be careful joining a church in which the article of faith cannot be substantially supported by multiple scriptural references.

Fourth, the AV KJV is in English. Where is the scriptural support justifying God's exceptional love for English speaking people over and above all other languages? BBC has a Spanish body of Christ within the body of Christ—according to the above statement, only English speaking people have access to the inspired, preserved and infallible Word of God. How can this be? We also have a Korean Pastor in our congregation. Am I to tell him that unless he learns English and has a KJV Bible in his hands as he preaches he too cannot stand on the inspired infallible Word of God? What arrogant position. Where is the Bible proof that God is a respecter of English speaking people above others? Where are the prophetical references indicating God would in the future do something special in 1611 unlike anything he had previously done or would do again with a group of translators? I have heard all the arguments that God has used and blessed the KJV. I will submit to you that German scholars could have said the same thing concerning Martin Luther's biblical translation work in German. You can also be sure that there is a Korean Bible that God is blessing beyond the scope of the KJV in Southeast Asia as His Word is accurately translated into hundreds of languages all over the world, and it is NOT returning VOID.

What about when Jerome translated the Greek NT into Latin—what was that?

What about when Jews translated the Hebrew OT into Greek creating the Septuagint often quoted and referenced by Jesus and the Apostles—what was that?

What about the Tyndale Bible? What about the hundreds upon hundreds of Baptist preachers who use the NASB—are they all also NOT using something that is inspired and infallible? Notice very carefully the statement above uses the word ONLY. ONLY means ONLY.

There are some serious holes in the above statement of faith that should serve as significant red flags.

One must ask what other personal preferences will this preacher attempt to make authoritative as a matter of doctrine without sufficient Scriptural support. If he is willing to do it with his favorite translation, what is going to stop him from doing the same with a particular flavor of music he prefers or what about a particular style of dress—where does it end?

In Galatians 2, Paul confronted Peter to his face. Preachers who are declaring something as Scriptural which isn't must be confronted. A favorite or preferred translation is fine and acceptable, but don't take it too far.






Sectarian Fundamentalism I

Are you aware of how fundamentalism seems to be becoming a denomination? Some Baptist fundamentalists are becoming increasingly sectarian. This should be of great concern to Disciples of Christ who are baptistic in their understanding of the Bible. Independent Baptists have from the beginning advocated a position of independence that permits each congregation to govern themselves as they see fit; yet, sectarian fundamentalists are increasingly judging other churches and refusing to fellowship one with another based on differences of opinion on things that are not a fundamental of the faith. Classic or historical fundamentalism was not focused on methods, but key doctrinal points that are not negotiable when it comes to the validity of Christianity.

Independent Fundamentalists are not supposed to be sectarian. Each independent Baptist church is permitted to govern itself as it sees fit and choose how they apply the Word of God to their congregation most especially in the areas in which the Bible is not as clear as some would like it to be.

Sectarian Fundamentalists judge other churches which do not hold to the same level of convictions to the same degree as themselves as truly NOT fundamental.

The fundamentals of the faith are expanding into areas which are not fundamental. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, may I encourage you to be very careful when you refer to something as a fundamental of the faith that isn't. Know what fundamental is and isn't.

The verbal inspiration of the Word of God is a fundamental of the faith—a favorite, preferred, or best translation is not a fundamental. It can be a preference and even a mandate but not a fundamental. Let's be careful; words mean something. (There is a difference between a conviction and preference.)

Dr. Mark Minnick in SC is a Baptist fundamentalist that uses the NASB instead of the KJV; those who refuse to fellowship with another fundamentalist because of a divide over a non-fundamental of the faith are sectarian. A fundamental of the faith is something that significantly alters the orthodoxy of Christianity.

And the more they divide and isolate into sects, the more fundamentalism looks like a particular denomination within the Baptist flavor of Christianity. A denomination that is more likely defined by music, dress and a translation than the non-negotiables of the faith.

We are slowly losing our independence to the sectarians who determine what is acceptable from seats of power in larger churches normally associated with colleges. The competition between schools requires (or so it seems) lines to be drawn which are not necessary and the East, Midwest and West compete and divide into sects which ignore God's mandate for unity in the body of Christ. (Read John 17—twice.)

Fundamentalists are no longer fighting the liberal influence of other Christians and now fight each other over things that will not amount to anything when we stand before our Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

I Had Never Thought About this Before

Our world is really something else; until I bumped into this picture, I had never even considered the idea that diamonds are being harvested from slave labor in the 21st century.

The Bible makes it clear things are not going to get better and better as humans evolve into better men and women because of cultural improvements or increased education. Jesus said iniquity is going to abound—conditions of lawlessness will continue to become more and more prevalent.

Greed may be one of man's worst enemies and the only solution to greed is the Gospel.

Christ died so that ALL men can be saved. The only limitation to the effectualness of Christ's atoning sacrifice is man's failure to repent and believe. If every man would repent every man, woman and child could be saved. Christ's death is fully sufficient to forgive every sin committed by every human being. The only limitation God has placed on the gift of salvation is the limitation that man must turn from sin and self to the one true God for his salvation. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved reminds each and every one of us that salvation is not limited in its application only its effectualness and this limitation is not based on race (Jews and Gentiles) BUT creed. And only one creed—a fundamental belief in the person and work of Jesus Christ—is the only creed that saves.

Farewell to Steve

This is our Youth Pastor's last week and it is a sad time for me. I have grown to love Steve Rahn, and I believe that God has knit our hearts together in just two years. He is an incredibly gifted young man and God is going to use him and his wonderful wife in an incredible way in New England. I look forward to sustaining our friendship via the modern cheap means of communication God has blessed us with in the 21st Century. I hope that anyone who sees his departure in a negative way will repent of that sin and realize that Steve is leaving to assist another church with less staff and less resources to fulfill the Great Commission. Steve has God's call in His life and it's imperative that he be obedient. We, BBC, need to rejoice that another man like Matt or Tim or John is leaving BBC to plant churches—this is what it means to be an Acts 1.8 church. There are others on staff who will eventually leave as well. This cannot and should not be seen as anything other than a fulfillment of the Great Commission.

The 1st century church in Jerusalem sent men out—ordained and commissioned by them. We must be controlled by the Spirit of God and when our carnal fleshly brains become negative, we must seek the Spirit of God's help in rebuking thoughts of negativity and rejoice in God's good blessing in being able to be a part of something much, much bigger than the ministry at 517 Glensford Drive. This is not some spin message or talking point to cover up a departure of someone on staff like a political administration does.

This is what we want as a church, we want to employ young men—let them cut their theological and ministerial teeth here—and then depart with the blessing of God and His Church to serve all over the Kingdom of God. One church in MN tells of 84 men who are presently in the ministry all over the world from one church. I wish Berean would have kept detailed records of the number of men who have been called to preach out of it.

For those who don't know, Steve was hired to teach English at the Academy a few years ago. God solidified His divine call on His life through the ministry of BBC—this is an incredible thing. Would we like to keep Steve- absolutely! But he must do the will of God. He is leaving a ministry rich in resources and blessings to go to a much tougher environment—some have wondered about that and allowed their mind to make wrong conclusions from that. Don't. This young couple earnestly seeks to do God's will above all else. Nearly every aspect of their lives reflects a desire for God's Will, more than anything else. They are not materialistic or vain, and they are remarkably mature for their ages. Our loss is another church's blessing. But the kingdom of God is much, much bigger than BBC—we must adopt a Kingdom Mindset and realize that in a very small way the influence of this ministry will be felt in New England.

I truly look forward to having Steve back to preach and to see through his preaching ministry how He is maturing in the faith and the grace of our Lord and Savior King Jesus.