Archive for October, 2013

Theological Tributaries of Tennessee Baptists

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by Ron Hale

Ron Hale has served as pastor, church planter, strategist (NAMB), director of missions, and associate executive director of evangelism and church planting for a state convention, and now in the fourth quarter of ministry as minister of missions.

At the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers near Knoxville, in East Tennessee, the Tennessee River begins its serpentine course of 652 miles. Its tributaries are too numerous to mention in this short article. In similar fashion, the beginnings of Baptists in Tennessee sprang forth in East Tennessee and flowed westward as two major theological streams mixed, mingled, and merged as the mainstream of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

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FMB penned SBC’s first Traditional confession*

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by Marty Comer, pastor
Sand Ridge Baptist Church
Lexington, Tenn.

Founded in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted no confession of faith for it’s first 80 years. Obviously, Southern Baptists during that 80-year period held beliefs that were similar to their neighbors, and there was a body of shared beliefs among Baptists in the South. What were some of those shared beliefs? Were they much like what traditional Southern Baptists believe today?

Baptists have always considered themselves “a people of the book.” The Bible has been our standard for faith and practice. This simple biblicism has led Southern Baptists through the decades, when confronted with a doctrinal question, to ask, “What does the Bible say?”

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Is Matthew 5.44 part of God’s moral law?

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“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Mt. 5.44.

Does God require His children to do something He does not do?
Is it disobedient *not* to love/pray for our enemies?
Is it Christlike to obey this command and to love/pray for our enemies?
Is Matthew 5.44 part of God’s moral law?
If so, can God act contrary to His moral law since it is an expression of His character?
If so, would God be loving His enemies if He refused to save them when He could do so?
(Common grace does not address this question).
So, how can the doctrine of unconditional election be true when it requires God to deny His own character?”

Three-dimensional society

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by Walker Moore

Walker Moore is founder and president of AweStar Ministries, and has trained thousands of students to share the Gospel, and then taken them around the world to do so.

For my recent birthday, my youngest son took me to see the movie Gravity. There’s only one way to see that kind of movie: at the IMAX in 3D. You would think that title, the movie would be all about it, but there’s hardly any gravity in the film until the last few minutes. Most of the time, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are floating around space dealing with the lack thereof. The movie gets pretty intense at times, and when it was over, the man next to me got up, walked over to the trash can and threw up. I guess he couldn’t handle weightlessness.

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Servanthood

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by Norm Miller

God tells us in Philippians 2.5-8 that Jesus emptied Himself, took the form of a slave and humbled Himself. Our Lord left the splendor of heaven, where surely the angels attended His every need. Yet, He voluntarily laid aside some of His rights and privileges as God and donned human flesh. What’s more, He became a bond-servant to humanity. Whereas the New Testament brims with accounts of how Jesus served others, few passages can top John13.

John records events at the Last Supper, where the Lord and His disciples observed Passover and discussed betrayal and footwashing. Have you ever thought about how many pairs of feet Jesus washed?

Jesus knew He would be betrayed, but He wrapped Himself in a towel of service and washed the disciples’ feet, all 24. Here the Lord performed one of the most culturally servile tasks, on par with emptying chamber pots. Whereas it is one thing to serve those who love you, it is quite another to serve those who would do you harm signified by a kiss.

To be like Christ is to wash the feet of all, even those who would do you harm, who would call you names, who would do ill to your reputation, who would sabotage your ministry, who would steal from you, lie to you, hate you.

We do well to serve those who love us, and who are the objects of our love. But our enemies? Jesus said to love them – to repay evil with good. In so doing we will have the attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.