Bouquets and Brickbats
FLORIDA: Please send all your articles on the Promise Keepers.
OHIO: Please send me a couple of sample copies of the paper you publish.
MISSOURI: Thank you for the paper and the work and effort put into it by you and the church.
OKLAHOMA: I enjoy your paper very much.
LOUISIANA: I have been reading some excellent writings of A.W. Pink. I found His doctrine on the Sovereignty of God in salvation very logical and most importantly very biblical. I am a subscriber to your Grace Proclamator publication and believe you have written some articles on election and salvation. My question to you is "How do you present the gospel to people if they are either elected or not." Please take a moment to respond.
ARKANSAS: I totally agree with your article on this subject. You raised some questions that I hope will provoke some "thinking" among our King Jimmy brethren. My dad comes over to my house to check things out in the WWW. We especially enjoy your articles and the ones from Ronoake Virginia. Hope to see you soon.
OKLAHOMA: Well, as usual, you've not only hit the nail on the head, but you've countersunk it about an inch and a half! I refer, of course, to your recent article on establishing churches. For some reason, Baptists have developed a set of traditions about establishing churches that exceeds the Pharisees' traditions about washing pots and pans. I suspect that these things are done because the pastors (and to some degree the churches) cannot stand the idea of sending forth a missionary whose every move is not totally under their control. I really appreciate your article!
Of course, I imagine the brethren will weep and gnash their teeth, but that is to be expected. In fact, just about two months ago, in the course of an e-mail discussion with a dear brother about another topic, I mentioned that we have neither command nor example in the Scripture for establishing missions as "protochurches." I was making a point that we don't hold too closely to the examples we find in Acts, since he had been quoting examples in Acts to support his side of the discussion.
This brother is in charge of a "mission," and I suspect that he took my point very ill, since he has not replied to me though we used to correspond at least weekly. I have the greatest respect for his work, and appreciate him very much, but the fact is that we have no Scriptural basis for establishing missions instead of churches, baptizing converts into the "mother church" instead of the local church, getting the "mother church" to hold organizing services, and so on.
Anyway, as always, keep up the good work. I appreciate your methodical approach to questions, even when I don't agree with you on all points.
ARKANSAS: Enjoyed your article separating New Testament practice from evolved tradition regarding church perpetuity. To be honest, I had hoped to glean some insight into what a Sovereign Grace Baptist does when he finds himself "orphaned" geographically from his "mother" church. Among those familiar with our situation, the immediate response is likely to be that we should never have left, but the reality is that God in His providence has placed us in a locale that is apparently devoid of a doctrinally sound assembly. There are churches within driving distance, but I am not convinced that I can be part of a local assembly if separated the majority of the time by 30 miles or 300. Do you have information on how Baptists historically dealt with migrations that left remnants of His flocks without a shepherd? For the record, we are still "members" (albeit non-attending) in good standing with our "mother" church.
PENNSYLVANIA: I have always enjoyed receiving and reading your paper. I started receiving it when I was called as pastor of _____________, in 1985. Since 1994 I have moved to Pennsylvania and started _________. While at ________, we sent several missionaries out to start churches. At that time I formulated a policy stating basically the position you espoused in the April edition of the GP&P. That position was adopted as church policy, but a few members began to "sow seeds of discord" that we had left the biblical position of the "mother" church and had given the missionaries unscriptural liberty in baptizing converts into the "mission church" and letting them observe the Lord's Supper before the were "formally" pronounced a church. The policy even stated that the missionary was responsible for church discipline and not the "mother" church. Therefore, I found April's edition very interesting.
Let me ask you to ponder the question of what constitutes a true church. What are the biblical requirements that define a "true" church? Does scripture teach that a church MUST have been started by another true church? If so, please exegete that passage(s) for me. What are the scriptural marks of a "true" church? I certainly would not want to start a church without "authority" from another church, but where does the Bible mandate that concept? What if (and some do) a church exists today and has biblical doctrine and sound polity, does the fact that it was started by a group or and individual that didn't have "authority" from another particular true church make it less than "true" church? I am not advocating the non-authority position. I am just re-thinking the landmark position and would like to hear your comments.
MISSOURI: Thank you very much for your two excellent articles on the subject of Gambling in the recent issues of "The Grace Proclamator And Promulgator." I do hope you will put these in booklet form for wide distribution.
Such articles are especially needed in Kansas City which has in recent years become "Little Vegas" because of the proliferation of Casinos and other gambling dens. Thank you also for promoting our annual Sovereign Grace Conference in your paper. We already have received a large number of inquiries about it.
Have you heard about the recent controversy over the New International Version of the Bible? Zondervan which publishes it has decided to "de-sex" the NIV and they are not even planning to notify the public. They are just going to do it. The only person in the whole theological world who has dared to oppose them is Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and he has really taken the grief over it. There is an outstanding article on the subject in the March 29, 1997 edition of "World" magazine if you have access to that publication. If not I will be glad to send you a copy of the article if you desire it.
[Editors Note: I have read the article to which the Brother refers. It is shocking to see the lengths to which some will go to try to appease the feminists in this country. The article gives evidence that those who publish many versions of the Bible are not at all interested in the truth, just what sells.]
OKLAHOMA: I especially enjoyed the latest issue of TGP&P. There has been a Spanish KJV for a few years. They went through the Spanish 1609 version making their improvements. All other Spanish versions are consistent in calling the Spirit the Holy Spirit. But the SKJV now often calls Him the Holy Ghost--WHICH MAKES NO SENSE IN SPANISH! There is no word for Easter in the Spanish language, only Passover. Therefore Acts 12:4 has a footnote explaining that this is a "heathen festival" not to be confused with the Jewish passover. The ears of corn that the disciples plucked are no longer heads of grain, but now corn on the cobwhich is a grain from the American continent, unknown in Bible lands. These are just a few examples of their improvements to the good old Spanish version.
The open letter concerning Scriptural requirements for starting a church is right on target. How far have you thought the issue through? Will there be follow-up articles? Probably so, because you'll probably get a ton of brickbats over this one.
WASHINGTON: I saw your response to Bro. ______ question in an E-mail that he sent out, I am glad to see that I am not alone in my dis-like for the term "Mother" church, I saw Bro. _________ at a Bible conference recently, and some other brothers who use that terminology. I cringe inside when I hear Mother church used, like I do when I hear or read of one of our brother preachers using the plural form of the word doctrine when referring to God's word (this could be said to be my pet peeve) when doctrines always refers to doctrines of men, devils etc.
How can a church be betrothed to Christ as a virgin, and yet bear a daughter? Mary is the only woman in the history of the world who bore a child while yet a virgin. It troubles me when Baptist's adopt Catholic terminology on the one hand, and give up ground to the Pentecostal without a fight on the other. We are so afraid that we will sound like them, we suppress the desire to express joy in the Lord to the extent that we barely can squeak out a weak amen, never a PRAISE THE LORD, or a HALLELUJAH.
We need to reclaim the ground we have given up. And Baptists should sound like Baptists, should use Baptist words, and Baptist terminology, not something we adopted from the enemies of Christ.
I saw the article again in your paper, thanks again. We all, or at least we should, agree that a church must be started by a true church, and have authority passed on to her in order to be a true church, without which she cannot be a true church. What we need do is say it the same way.
ILLINOIS: Christian greetings. I received your GP&P today and enjoyed reading it all already. I believe that in a theoretical sense, the two "missionaries" sent out by the church themselves constituted a church based upon Matthew 18:20, "Where two. . .are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Thus, when they baptized such disciples as Lydia, her household, and the jailer and his house at Philippi, those saints were added to them, the church, and when they departed to another town, they left a church of the Lord Jesus in Philippi.
I see that you have been away in a meeting this week. We wondered if that were not the case when we received no response to our e-mail. We just wanted you to know that we are able to correspond with you through this means now, for which we give thanks to God and pray that we may use all this technology to His glory and for the edification of the saints.
LOUISIANA: I have just read, in the April edition, "An Open Letter To A Brother In Christ And In The Ministry Concerning The Scriptural Requirements For Starting A True Church", and "A New Twist To The Translation Controversy". Brother you struck the nail right on the head. And from my own experience you made no new friends among The Brothers, probably loosing some.
I have been teaching the same message nigh onto fifty years and have found myself on the outside, especially on the teaching of a Mother Church. When I ask the same questions you ask I receive cold stares as if speaking heresy.
Back during World War II, while in California recovering from battle, I came across a small assembly, about fifty strong, who, because their Pastor preached Sovereign Grace both assembly and pastor were cast out of the association that they belonged to and had to start anew. When I asked the question, "Was this a true assembly?, most answer, "NO." When I asked "Why?" most answer, "Because the assembly did not come from, was not born of, a Mother Church". And when I say, "But there was no other assembly preaching the truth, from most I receive a frosty stare with no answer, as if I had lost my mind.
Concerning The Translation Controversy, again you are right. I wonder if any of those who hold that the 1611 authorized version is the only acceptable translation have ever read any part in the English spoken in 1611. I always ask, "What about the words 'Easter' and "Baptize", both not in the Greek?". Again I receive cold stares.
What has happened to The Plain Teachings of The Word of God, and where did all these others teachings come from? I have never found out. When I ask all I get are more cold stares and no answers.
Brother Camp please keep telling the truth, it needs to be told!
COLORADO: After receiving your latest GP&P, I wanted to send you correspondence which I had with Focus (Focus on The Family) regarding their evolution. Read especially pages 18-19. Thanks for your magazine.
[Editors Note: This correspondence referred to by this reader reflects a fantastic art of double speak on the part of the Focus on the Family representatives. I trust that I will have space to review it with our readers in the June or July issue. When I do it will appear under the title, Focus on The Art of Double Speak as Practiced at Focus on the Family.
ALABAMA: We enjoy your paper very much and would hate to miss an issue. Please note our change of address. We are sending a small donation for use as you see fit. God bless you and your work.
TENNESSEE: I hope this small amount will help with the GP&P publications. Were looking forward to receiving them each month.
FLORIDA: I would appreciate being added to your subscription listing for The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator which is published by the authority of Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church. I would like to receive any back issues that you have, especially concerning Promise Keepers and James Dobson.
ARKANSAS: Please send me the GP&P paper. I enjoy it very much. Thank your very much and may God richly bless you.
CANADA: I have appreciated your site on numerous counts. First of all I read numerous articles and unlike many sites I go to I was pleased to not have to duck the deeper into the site I went. I just finished reading your article on the "KJV" question. I wish this debate could be carried to deal with the change in the way manuscripts have been determined to be reliable. I think that would perhaps get this debate onto a footing that would deal with the real issues and not be a religious merry-go-round. I find it interesting that the early settlers to the United States would not have owned a KJV for all the tea that was later dumped in Boston Harbour. They were readers of the Geneva Bible. I have been fortunate to be able to find a reprint of Tyndales New Testament and to be honest if you wanted to know what is my favourite thats it. But I love the Geneva Bible notes and am absolutely confused by what is called the Geneva King James Bible! Why can't Christians cut to the chase and debate the real issues instead of playing games with the smokescreens?
Carry on! I for one appreciate your stuff.
VIRGINIA: It was sure a blessing to be able to meet you and talk with you while you were at Singingwood Baptist Church with Bro. Horton. I have added a link from my web page to yours. Your page is certainly full of articles and sermons that are inspiring.
BRAZIL: Sure have enjoyed seeing a stand for truth on the net! It is most welcome to this missionary in Brazil. For sure some of the articles will find their way into the ministry of the Lord here.
VIRGINIA: I don't send e-mail too often but I like to read your web page and I am glad that you are of a mind to put these things on the "net". Some preachers bah humbug the web, but it is a great way to potentially witness to untold numbers of people.
It is well with my soul, but alas, it is not well with my computer for I cannot hear the music playing in the background. I have a multimedia kit and so I have sound capability. Do I need special software for your music ?
I really enjoy your page and I think that it is great that we can spread the gospel to anyone and everyone with a computer. Keep doing the good work for your labor in the Lord is not in vain. I expect the Lord will come back very soon. Thanks for your stand for the truth. Not many these days are willing to take a stand for the things of God. I'll see you up there.
FLORIDA: I wanted to congratulate you on the Open Letter in the last issue. It expresses what I have been contending for a long time.
OKLAHOMA: Your open letter in the last issue of The GP&P was superb. Keep up the strong insistence that men back up what they believe with the Word of God. I eagerly look forward to your correspondents reply. I wonder what Scriptures, if any, he will use.
FLORIDA: I read with great interest your open letter to a Brother on the Scriptural Way to Start a True Church. I am glad you are dealing with this. Brethren of that persuasion have caused a lot of confusion in this area, even to stopping the organization of a church on one occasion by dividing the body over the matter.
You have asked for Scripture, but, I predict you will not get a single verse in the Brothers reply that support his position. How do I know? I have asked these same questions and they always go unanswered.
Bro. Camp, keep contending for the faith that is set forth in the Word of God.
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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011