In perusing the churches represented by the various ones being appointed to committees I am beginning to see signs of encouragement. For example the following statements are found on the websites of some being appointed to the Committee of Resolutions.
In this first statement I have not placed emphasis on any statement. The bold emphasis and large capital letters are placed there in the website. Thus, the church seems to desire that one understand their belief concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that the baptism taught in the New Testament is by immersion. Baptism is an act of obedience by a person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism does not have power to save or forgive us from sin, but the message of baptism is significant:
1) Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
2) Baptism also is a picture of the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life, in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, baptism is a personal statement of your faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism doesn’t make you a believer . . . it shows that you already believe.
Who Should Be Baptized?… Every person who has believed.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth. But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection. The Lord’s supper is a memorial meal that was instituted by our Savior the night in which He was betrayed and delivered to die for our sins on the cross. As is true of baptism, we are not saved by eating the Lord’s Supper. It is a memorial of the death of Christ, that we may always remember His sacrifice for us. When believers observe the Lord’s Supper they proclaim His death until He comes again.
Who may take the Lord’s Supper? . . . Those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord and who have been baptized in obedience to His command.
I heard a Pastor say that we should not teach and preach the Bible verse by verse, because the people will just not get it. That expository preaching is just for preachers; that only preachers would understand it. Thus, we should not preach and teach the Bible. But, instead, we should preach what we think the people would want to hear. And, this fella also seemed to be justifying his remarks by the fact that he has a big crowd at his Church on Sunday.
Another Pastor told me, one time, that a certain fella went crazy on the Bible. He said that the man started studying his Bible, too much, and it caused him to lose his mind!
I’d like to know what your thoughts are on these two statements. And, is a “big crowd” what’s the measure of success in a church? Is Bible preaching, or expository preaching, or text driven preaching not the way to go, if you really want to be a successful Pastor?
Maybe we should have the Holy Ghost Hokie Pokie at our Churches, in order to get the crowd coming?!!? Peter Lumpkins had this video at his blog, and it reminded me of what some Pastors and Churches do in their attempt to be “relevant” and gain a big crowd. I mean, if a big crowd is our measure of success, and we’re willing to just preach shallow, fluffy, psychological, self help messages to gain the crowd, then shouldn’t we look to things like the Hokie Pokie, or Christian Country line dancing, maybe, depending on your culture, to “reach” people; to get the crowds? Take a look.
I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this.
Part of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report includes renaming the designated giving of Southern Baptist churches as “Great Commission Giving”. I believe the following two questions reveal some concerns that needs addressing. First, how does this plan promote cooperation when churches direct funds to a favorite SBC entity leaving non-favorite entities without? Second, how will the Cooperative Program be recognized as the central means of supporting our Great Commission ministries when it is combined with designated gifts and called by a nice name like Great Commission Giving? Where would I rather see my funds go–a line item that says cooperation or a line item that says Great Commission Giving?
Instead of my comments this I am going to wait until the comment stream gets started. I will tell you that Representative Johnson is from Georgia. Thus, I will allow our Georgia resident and fellow blogger Peter Lumpkins free reign in his comments on his Georgia Representative’s thoughts. Of course Representative Johnson’s thoughts affect all of us so everyone’s thoughts on this man’s statement will be encouraged. Just remember to show respect for the office he holds, and do not disrespect his family. Enjoy!
…and no, I do not refer you to the message of Dr. Campolo.
Instead I more heartily refer you to my all-time favorite Easter song by legendary Christian song writer, Don Franciso:
May our Lord bless us all with renewed thankfulness, enthusiasm, and boldness on the basis of the grace His cross provides in paying the penalty of our sin debt and the freedom His empty tomb provides all of us to live in such a way that we bring honor and glory to His name.
BY GRACE ALONE!