Pastor Voddie Bachaum is fleeing to Africa on the grounds of the spiritual despair plaguing much of that continent.
Things going so well here that a minister considering cultural apologetics as one of his areas of expertise left with nothing to do?
Marriage has gone back to being solely between a man and a woman?
Gays quietly keeping their proclivities to themselves as a result of good old fashioned shame?
The vast majority of children being born to married couples?
And those that aren’t either adopted into loving families or at least raised by biological parents that love the children enough to maintain a facade in front of the child that they tolerate each other and can get along civilly?
Rap music shifted its lyrics now to extol a lifestyle of sober frugality and personal industry?
In detailing his missionary expedition to Africa, pastor and cultural apologist Voddie Baucham points out that he is not a theological renegade but is rather being sent from his local church to a local church.
Extrapolating from that logic, does that mean in our own contexts that the hands (or perhaps more importantly the tongue) of the average believer is tied unless church authorities allow you to evangelize?
From that presupposiition, it seems that it is illegitimate to conduct missions or evangelism as a form of God’s work apart from the approval of one’s church.
Baucham identifies himself as a part of the Reformed movement.
A fundamental perspective of that particular theological outlook constricts the separation between secular and sacred work to the point where that the division is nearly nonexistent.
Therefore, if all work is God’s work, should the church have veto power regarding what profession the individual decides to pursue or if they go into business on the path of entrepreneurship?
If one is going out as a missionary in the name of a particular congregation, that is one thing and you should be answerable to their authority as an employee.
However, if you are conducting outreach under the terms of the general mandate where one is essentially admonished to make a nuisance of oneself by interjecting religion into the workplace and in passing conversations with the neighbors, on what grounds do you condemn if a believer decides to share the Gospel down the street or halfway around the world?
In this sermon justifying his self-imposed exile to Africa, Voddie Baucham criticized men that pursue seminary education in general and in particular those that use that education to find employment at another church without the approval or oversight of what would be categorized as the student’s home church.
But is it really the place of the church to deny an individual’s access to knowledge?
For that is a mindset characterizing Gnostic-oriented sects such as Mormonism and Freemasonry.
The Christian position is that knowledge should be available to anyone willing to pursue it.
Other than a character reference to assure that the applicant has not been caught with hands on little children, on other men’s wives, or in the collection plate, should a single church have that much sway over your ecclesiastical career prospects or ministry opportunities?
By Frederick Meekins
The following quote attributed to Jack Hyles was printed in a church bulletin: “The time consumed between the opportunity to do right and the doing of the right is often spent trying to justify doing wrong.”
A valid observation.
Sort of like the time Hyles concocted a convoluted doctrine not unlike that of Mormon celestial marriage to justify him spending more emotionally intimate time with the church secretary than his actual wife.
Then there was also the time Hyles summoned the deacons to the pulpit and had them vow before the congregation how these church officers were willing to take a bullet if so directed by the pastor.
Will the church bulletin be providing edifying Chesterton quotes in the upcoming weeks and months as well?
For the wisdom of this journalist will likely be disqualified for such an honor because of his ultimate conversion to Roman Catholicism.
For you see, in the brand of Christianity that celebrates ecclesiastical separation as something akin to a prime directive, it is not enough for a thinker to have enunciated an observation or proposition exuding truth.
Often, it is even more important that the intellectual under consideration hold membership in the right organizations and avoid contact with movements condemned as beyond a narrow pale of acceptability.
How else under the lofty identity of Fundamental Independent Baptist can one justify promoting a ministry that has profoundly harmed unnumbered throngs while likely numbering among history’s reprobates some of the most gifted writers to ever contemplate the human condition?
By Frederick Meekins
Re-Posted from the NCR
BY JUSTIN BELL 04/14/2015
April 15 marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. During my school boy years, I had a surface level knowledge of Abraham Lincoln: President during the Civil War, freed the slaves, stove-top hat, unique beard, “four score and seven years ago”, assassinated, coupled with George Washington on Presidents Day, profile found on a penny, etc.
Last summer driving back to Massachusetts from Nebraska, I started listening to the Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and then continued reading it after I got back.
I now have a new list of associations with Lincoln: home-grown scholar, entertaining storyteller, hard-worker, humility, sense of humor, fortitude, father, magnanimity, courageous, diplomatic, shrewd, God-fearing, merciful, faithful friend, hero and even prophetic. Take your pick, learn and then choose another attribute to study from one of our greatest American leaders. The more I read about Lincoln in this excellent book, the more I was impressed and the more his legend grew.
In the last chapters of Goodwin’s book, some, many incidents struck me, some particularly in light of our country’s modern scourge: legalized abortion. Pro-life advocates speak of abolishing abortion and I believe the following words and actions from Lincoln are quite telling about his character and insight.
We learned in school that the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order signed by Lincoln on January 1, 1863, freed slaves in rebel states. Lincoln feared that this historic decree could be scuttled after the war. Eventually, the push for the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ensued.
Lincoln pressed two allies in the House of Representatives to secure votes for the passage of the Amendment in January of 1865. A quote from the president rings out.
“I am the President of the United States, clothed with great power,” Lincoln told these allies.
“The abolition of slavery by constitutional provision settles the fate, for all coming time, not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come — a measure of such importance that those two votes must be procured.”
Goodwin points that these men understood the president’s powers included “plum assignments, pardons, campaign contributions, and government jobs for relatives and friends of faithful members.”
But to me, the two words “unborn millions” recalled the unfathomable number of lives lost to abortion — close to 58 million — since Roe vs. Wade and the thousands more who die daily.
Couple that with a passage taken from his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865. Earlier the day had been a rainy and cloudy one. However, journalist Noah Brooks noted that when Lincoln came into sight on the ceremonial platform “the sun, which had been obscured all day, burst forth in its unclouded meridian splendor and flooded the spectacle with glory and light.”
Consider these words of Lincoln toward the end of this iconic speech:
“Fondly do we hope — fervently do pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”
How will God judge our nation as abortion continues on? For those of us who consider ourselves “pro-life,” what is our individual and collective role in being actively pro-life? Speaking for myself, surely it is more.
Lincoln and companions visited General U.S. Grant toward the end of the war and again saw first-hand the ravages of war. The recent attack on Fort Stedman left over 2,000 Union casualties and almost 5,000 Confederate ones. Lincoln was reported as saying “that he had seen enough of the horrors of war, that he hoped this was the beginning of the end, and that there would be no more bloodshed or ruin of homes.”
Soon after the fall of Richmond, Virginia, Lincoln toured the former capitol of the Confederacy with companions. A small group of black workers greeted the president with shouts of “Bress de Lord!…dere is the great Messiah!…Glory, Hallelujah!” Several of them fell to their knees. Lincoln’s response?
“Don’t kneel to me, that is not right. You must kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy,” Lincoln said.
As I drew toward the end of “Team of Rivals,” I delayed reaching it, knowing how Lincoln would pass. I once heard a priest say — in the aftermath of a horrific murder of a young teacher — that it was a mistake to focus on the details of her death, missing the qualities of how she lived. Likewise, I think there can be too much attention on the assassination of President Lincoln or other fallen leaders. But interestingly, I learned that Lincoln was shot on the evening of Good Friday while sitting next to a woman (his wife) named Mary.
When Lincoln eventually died on the morning of Holy Saturday, his former rival, then current Secretary of War and close friend Edwin Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages.”
We are an Easter people and just celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. I for one, humbly pray to meet Abraham Lincoln in the bosom of Abraham, the heavenly banquet. On this earth, we can learn from his life and pray beyond his death.
Justin Bell writes from the Boston area.
Re-posted by Archbishop Andrew R. M. Manley
Senior Editor of the Holy See of Antioch Global Press Corps of the Celtic Cross
JOEL OSTEEN “DENIES JESUS CHRIST” & OPRAH WINFREY “EXPOSED”!
People need to be looking to God for their answers for their life. Though many will not agree with this short video, God does warn us that there are many that will come and deceive the lost and discourage the faithful. Raising questions that have no substance or for those that know better, no meat.
Our Lord wants you to seek His ways and not the ways of this world for this world is truly temporary and eternity is everlasting. Though this video has been out for a very long time, it is still relevant and needs to be shown over and over again… (+)