"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
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In this Issue:
HOMOSEXUALITY: THE UNNATURAL SIN
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
MORE EVIL FROM ROMISH SYSTEM
VEHICLE PURCHASE REPORT
THE UNNATURAL SIN
By Bill McDaniel
Lillja Road Baptist Church
Houston, Texas 77060-5509
Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27
It will be a happy enlightenment when the Spirit enables one to see that the last four books of Moses (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) contain an exegetical commentary on the moral law of God. These writings contain an expansion of the Ten Commandments by showing the various ways each may be transgressed. Nowhere is this more evident than in Leviticus 18, showing how very broad is the seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" Such sins are mentioned and condemned as: incest, bestiality, adultery and sodomy. The eighteenth chapter of Leviticus is an awful testimony to the depravity of human nature, especially in the realm of sexuality!
One such sin mentioned and forbidden is that abominable practice of homosexuality, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with woman kind; it is an abomination". The expression, "to lie with", is used in scripture to describe illicit sexual unions. (See I Sam. 2:22; Gen 19:33-35). So is the term "to go into" (Gen.38:9; Gen. 16:4). Thus, to "lie with mankind as with womankind", is for two males to commit sex acts, one being "used" as one would use a woman. One man lying sexually with another man as one would with a woman, this the apostle Paul calls "unnatural" in Rom. 1:26-27.
The legal marriage union is modestly described in scripture as "to know", and "knew" (Gen.4:2; 4:25; Luke 1:35). This marriage bed is honorable in all and undefiled (Heb.13:4). Marriage in the biblical sense is a man and woman becoming one flesh by the conjugal union (Gen.2:24; Matt.19:5; Eph.5:31). On the other hand homosexuality is a going after strange flesh (Jude vs.7). Only a man and a woman can become one flesh by the sexual union. Two of the same gender (homosexuals) is strange flesh, for it is other than God ordained in the beginning. "Male and female made He them" (Gen.1:27).
THE ORIGINAL ORDER OF THE SEXES AS ORDAINED BY GOD
To fully comprehend the perversion involved in the practice of homosexuality, we have but to consider God's creation in the beginning. God made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman (one of each). As some have said, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Frank; or Eve and Heather." One man and one woman to be his wife to live as husband and wife and to procreate the race. To them God gave the command to multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1:28). "Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bare . . ." (Gen. 4:1). This was to be done by the heterosexual union. The ONLY proper relation and sexual union is the heterosexual, i.e. one man and one woman becoming one flesh.
HOMOSEXUALITY IS IN EVERY CASE A VIOLATION OF DIVINE ORDER
Many today are declaring homosexuality to be a legitimate and normal "alternate" lifestyle. Apostate "reverends" are embracing this perverse conduct. The liberal cesspool that is Hollywood is seeking to force sodomy into general acceptance. The public school system, in the chokehold of liberal and humanistic social engineers, is pushing little children to believe that "gay is good". States are passing special "hate crime" laws. We are told that the new national disease is "homophobia". The media, for the most part, favors all homosexual causes.
The Scriptures are clear; homosexuality is a perversion of the divine order in every case and instance. It is abomination (Lev, 18:22; 20:13) i.e. a thing God detests. It is unnatural; therefore, it is a perversion. In fact, in Romans chapter one, the apostle Paul calls homosexuality by such unflattering terms as: "vile affections", "against nature", "unseemly", "their error".
Homosexuality is never a legitimate behavior according to the word of God. No Christian should approve of such a thing. It is always a vile thing in God's sight! The church must stand upon the word of God against the acceptance of such a thing. In no wise is "gay good". Let the Christian believe that sodomy was the sin for which God rained fire and brimstone down on the city of Sodom (Gen.19) and was punishable by death under the old economy (Lev.20:13)
THE SOCIETY THAT TOLERATES AND APPROVES THIS SIN PUTS ITSELF UNDER THE JUDGMENT OF GOD
The society that looks with favor or approval upon homosexuality will rot away into complete moral degradation. This is one of the sins that God said would defile the land (Lev.18:27-30). God will not bless the nation that sanctions the sin of sodomy! Sodom and Gomorrah ever stand as a testimony to the fact that God detests the sin of homosexuality. "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (II Peter 2:6). "Are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude vs. 7). Though God will not rain fire and brimstone upon our land, yet the social and moral fabric will corrupt and society will rot away into moral decadence. God is not mocked and will in some way judge the society that grants acceptance to homosexuality.
THE APOSTLE PAUL'S CONDEMNATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN ROMANS CHAPTER ONE
Let us focus our attention upon the text in Romans 1:26-27, it being among the strongest texts in the condemnation of the way called homosexuality. The apostle Paul is discussing the birth of paganism as apostasy from God's revelation. God revealed his eternal power and godhead in creation, which men perverted and suppressed in unrighteousness. As a result of their perversion of the truth of God, they fell into degrading sins and God gave them over to uncleanness. As God abandoned them to their own wicked lusts, they fell into the most vile and unnatural sins, even the sin of homosexual perversion.
We can read at least three statements declaring that God abandoned them to their own evil hearts. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves" (vs.24). "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections" (vs.26). ". . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient" (vs.28). As a consequence of God giving them over to the power of their lusts and the wickedness of their own depraved hearts, they fell into "all unrighteousness" (vs.29), even into the most degrading and defiling, homosexuality. Then, they forsook what the apostle Paul calls "the natural use" and both men and women espoused and practiced the lesbian and homosexual vices. "Even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature" i.e. they became lesbians and sexually cohabited with other women.
Leaving the natural they perverted themselves into the unnatural. This did "even the women". Their females left the natural use, which is heterosexual, and turned toward their lusts which were lesbian. The apostle Paul speaks even more harshly of the men. "Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lusts one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly . . ." Note the perversion, "men with men". This the law forbade. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is abomination" (Lev. 18:22). When fallen sinners are ruled by their lusts and vile affections, when God lays the reins upon the neck, they will rush headlong into the most degrading way of life that leads to final destruction.
It ought to be noted that the apostle Paul here uses words to describe the two genders that are a further condemnation of their acts. He calls the women "females" and the men "males", using the same terms as would apply to beasts and ignorant creatures. It is, "for even their females did change the natural use . . . likewise also the males, leaving the natural use of the female . . ." The word the apostle Paul uses here, translated "women" is used only twice in the whole of the new testament, and both times are right here in Romans 1:26-27. It simply means the female of the species and comes from the word which means to give suck, or supple.
In describing the conduct of male homosexuals, the Apostle Paul charges them with "leaving the natural use of the female". The tense is, "having left". They had already done so. Under the power of their vile affections and sordid lusts, they had already abandoned the natural order. They were driven to such behavior by the power of their insatiable lusts which burn out of control like the fires of hell. They burned with lust one toward another of the same gender. Men craving men! Having left the natural use of the woman they are ignited with a lust too powerful to resist which craves other males. Their lusts flow from the gehenna that constantly burns as a perpetual fire in their hearts.
Let us make a point of comparison regarding the apostle Paul's use of the words, "the natural use". The "natural" use of the woman is of course the heterosexual, i.e. man and woman in sexual union as ordained by God. This is to be consummated in a lawful union of marriage. Since homosexual unions are unnatural, the lusts for homosexual relations are also unnatural. Thus, there is a natural lust and an unnatural lust. Natural lust is described by the apostle Paul in I Cor.7:1-9 as a man desiring a woman. Granted, this is a sinful lust according to Christ's teaching in Matt.5:27-28. The point is, it is "natural" lust in that it is not a desire for that which is perverse. Heterosexual unions (husband and wife) are ordained by God, while homosexual unions (two of the same gender) are forbidden because they violate the original ordination of God. Perhaps this is the proper place to make another point against homosexuality. In the beginning God made them male and female (Gen.1:27). To put it as modestly as possible, the anatomical design of the bodies of men and women supports the heterosexual union in conjugal relations.
The Apostle Paul calls the homosexual union "vile affections". "Affections" would be better rendered by the word "passions". Vile passions! Passions that are evil, dishonorable and degrading. Such as are not found even among the ignorant beasts. Homosexual acts are "unseemly," i.e. shameful and disgraceful. It is a shame to speak of such things, much less to practice them!
THE APOSTLE PAUL TRACES HOMOSEXUALITY TO IT'S BIRTH IN PAGANISM
How often are these two sorts of sin found together! Homosexuality practiced in idolatry fills the cup of human depravity. Ignorance of God leads to a variety of heinous sins, none of them greater than the perversion found in homosexuality. It was a common sin among the Greeks and the Romans, people that knew not God. To engage in idolatry is to exchange the truth of God for a lie, and to engage in sodomy is to exchange the natural for the unnatural. Both are drastic perversions of God's order. In Romans chapter one the apostle Paul presents idolatry and homosexuality as the ultimate degradation and consummate defilement of human nature and behavior. It is therefore abominable that some today are seeking to "Christianize" this perverted life style as legitimate Christian behavior. Pity the pathetic and apostate "reverends" that support homosexuality in the name of God! Practicing homosexuals are lost (I Cor. 6:9-10) just as are practicing atheists or idolaters.
HOMOSEXUALITY BRINGS JUDGMENT UPON THOSE WHO PRACTICE IT
The apostle Paul says in Romans 1:27b, "and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet", or which was fitting or proper to their sin. God is able to make the judgment fit the crime, often making sin the punishment for sin. Homosexuals pay a very heavy price (in this life) for their sin. God gives them over to the power of their lusts. He gives them besotted minds unable to discern the truth (Rom.1:28). Statistics show that homosexuals forfeit as much as thirty years of life expectancy by their "alternate life style". There are very few OLD homosexuals. Their numbers are ravaged by such diseases as AIDS. While they do live there is the guilt, the shame, the loneliness and alienation from their families. These are the judgment of God upon them. The fire and brimstone upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are called an example to such as live ungodly. On the average homosexuals die much sooner than do their straight counterparts.
THE POLITICS OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Homosexuals, with the complicity of the biased liberal media, the moral debauchees in Hollywood, and bleeding heart liberals, and spineless politically correct politicians, have been very successful in politicizing both the homosexual lifestyle and the disease of AIDS. First they adopted a harmless sounding name as a covering for the true nature of their behavior. Homosexuals have become "gays". This is a deliberate ploy on their part to remove the stigmas associated with "pervert". As a result of this politicization of homosexuality we now have special "hate crime legislation" that imposes harsher penalties for any act of violence against one based on their "sexual orientation".
This very article would be considered "hate speech" by the politically correct crowd. Does this mean they also consider the Holy Scriptures to be filled with "hate speech" since they condemn homosexuality? They seek to bully their critics into silence by accusing them of being "homophobic" (the new national disease that requires "sensitivity training"). Well, I slap your homophobia on the snout. By the way, why are not male homosexuals called "femiphobic since they do not love women in a sexual way?
THE SHAMELESS PERVERSION OF THE SCRIPTURES BY HOMOSEXUALS
Every false movement seems to have a religious wing. There are some homosexuals who are "religious", attending where "gay is celebrated". They pretend to find homosexuality in scripture in such examples as Jonathan and David because it is said that their souls were knit together in love (I Sam. 18:1). Again they are so brazen as to suggest the same of Jesus and the apostle John because Christ loved John and the apostle leaned on the breast of the Holy one of God. They have charged that the apostle Paul was either a homosexual, or homophobic, since he talked a lot about homosexuality.
Such homosexual organizations as N.A.M.B.L.A. (North American Man Boy Love Assoc.) have advocated the abolishment of all laws restricting sex with children. And don't forget how many serial killers are homosexuals. They are a horrible blight upon any society.
We Christians are bound to take the side of scripture in such matters as homosexuality. Let God be true and every man a liar.
THE KIND OF OLD LANDMARKER I AM
(Seventh in a Series)
I have affirmed in this series of editorials that a New Testament type of ecclesia is a group of scripturally baptized believers who are organized as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ and meet in a specific locality. I have sought to expose the fallacy of the notion that a church may still claim to be local in nature while its members assemble in two or more assemblies in two or more localities.
I would challenge anyone reading this to find in all of the New Testament evidence that any church named there was more than a local church meeting in a specific locality. Baptists, for the most part, have taught through the centuries that scripturally baptized believers were united in local visible bodies in given localities. The church at Corinth was the church of God at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth. That one assembly meeting in that one locality came together in one place as the whole church of God at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? This same "whole church" is mentioned again in Paul’s epistle to the church in Rome. Romans 16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. This church in Corinth had divisions in it but these divisions existed when they came together, not when they met in separate assemblies. 1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
The church at Jerusalem met together with the apostles and elders. When they decided to send chosen men of their membership to Antioch, it was the "whole church" at Jerusalem that was pleased to do so. Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren. There was not an assembly of the "whole church" in Jerusalem that met in some other locality as some claim. The assembly at Jerusalem was the "WHOLE CHURCH" at Jerusalem and it was together when this matter took place.
I doubt that any Old Landmarker will deny that it was the church at Jerusalem that was assembled in one place when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. They were all in one place, not two places, not three places. ONE PLACE. One specific locality. One assembly. One body in one place. That is what each and every New Testament church was. One body assembling in one place. As one of our witnesses has written, "In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." When the day of Pentecost was fully come the church in Jerusalem was in one place at the same time. When they sent some of their number to Antioch the "whole church" was assembled in one place at the same time.
When the church at Corinth came together for service, they came together in "one place" at the same time. 1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. When they came together and the spiritual gifts were exercised, sometimes in a disorderly manner, the "whole church" came together in "one place." This calls to mind a statement by the late David Lipscomb, a prominent Campbellite writing in 1891. Commenting on "now ye are the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:27), Lipscomb said that Paul "compares one member to an eye, one to the foot, one to the ear, the hand, etc., showing beyond all doubt the church at Corinth was a complete body of Christ within itself, and without reference to any other church or Christians in the world. He speaks of the whole church at one place . . . . The church at Jerusalem was a complete body of Christ before another church was established. It lost none of its completeness when other churches were planted. Each church was a complete body of Christ, without any reference to any other church or churches in existence." (Gospel Advocate, June 10, 1891.)
I am reminded that the Apostle Paul never mentions his being burdened with the care of the "missions", nor did he mention his being burdened with the care of the "missions" and churches. He only spoke of his care of the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, THE CARE OF ALL THE CHURCHES. Apparently Paul never took care of a mission such as many operate today. Apparently the care of all the missions was unknown to this early missionary. The burden that was upon Paul was the "care of all the churches." Can any produce a Scripture that shows conclusively that Paul ever had the care of a mission upon him? Just one is all I ask for.
The New Testament speaks of churches here and churches there but I challenge anyone to find a place in all God’s word where any writer speaks of a single church that was assembling in two different cities, states, countries or continents. There were seven churches in Asia addressed in the Book of Revelation. Nothing in any way indicates that any one of them was assembling in more than one single locality. It was addressed to the church in Ephesus, the church in Thyatira, the church in Smyrna, the church in Pergamos, the church in Philadelphia, the church in Sardis, and the church in Laodecia.
The New Testament writers speak of many different churches. They never mention churches and missions. There were the churches of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. There were the churches of the Gentiles. Romans 16:4 . . . all the churches of the Gentiles. There were churches that were established in the faith. Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. The churches of Christ saluted the church in Rome. Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Such statements as these could be multiplied many times. Jesus established the first church on earth. When Paul and Barnabas went forth to the work to which God had chosen them, they started churches. When there were problems in any assembly of the Lord it was a problem in a church. When epistles were addressed to a specific church it was a specific church in a specific locality. Whole churches came together in one place. When Paul and Barnabas returned from their missionary journey they gathered the church in Antioch together. Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. They did not have to send to any place where they had traveled and call for any of those groups of baptized believers to come to Antioch. When they had gathered the baptized believers assembling in Antioch together they had the ecclesia of Antioch together. I suggest they had the whole church in Antioch together in one place when they rehearsed all that God had done with them.
In past issues I have shown that the Greek scholars, even those with a universal church concept, admit that in its original meaning and use the word ecclesia refers to some kind of assembly that assembles in one locality when it assembles. A town council is an ecclesia when it assembles to transact business for the city, but it must assemble in one locality. It may assemble at city hall for one meeting and it may assemble at the high school for another meeting. But, if part of the members of the town council gathers at city hall and another part of the town council gathers at the high school, it is not a true ecclesia of the town council. The testimony of the lexicographers and commentators is pretty much unanimous on this as several witnesses have affirmed.
I have shown, through credible witnesses, that this is the true and historical position of Old Landmarkers. I have called at least six witnesses that have written things that affirm this position. Some of their testimony is here repeated.
WITNESS 1: James Robinson Graves
"The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place."
WITNESS 2: Elton Wilson
"How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE. How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER."
WITNESS 3: H. Boyce Taylor
"Our first reason for contending that the word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church is that the Lord Jesus, who is the author of the Book of Revelation, uses the word ekklesia 20 times in Revelation and every time He uses it, He refers to a local organized and assembling church."
WITNESS 4: Eld. Milburn Cockrell
"In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." "Twenty times the word church is used in the singular number, and it points to a church which meets in a certain place."
WITNESS 5: ELDER CURTIS PUGH
"New Testament usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word "ecclesia" indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating body of people in a given locality."
WITNESS 6: ELDER BUEL H. KAZEE
Just one church in one locality sent some messengers to another church in another locality for the purpose of counsel on a problem in which they had a mutual interest. They all went back to their respective churches.
I now call my seventh witness to this Old Landmark position.
WITNESS 7: ELDER BRUCE ALLEN
". . . an ekklesia is literally an assembly of people called out to a particular place to perform some particular business, and that in its Christian application it means an assembly of believers called out to worship in one place together."
In a message published in the Baptist Examiner in 1984 that was entitled Christ’s Church, Eld Bruce Allen, after giving an extensive list of quotes from various scholars as to the meaning of the word ekklesia, wrote,
I hope, you noticed as you have read these, quotes as to ekklesia and its meaning, that they all said that primarily an ekklesia is literally an assembly of people called out to a particular place to perform some particular business, and that in its Christian application it means an assembly of believers called out to worship in one place together. Thus we can understand why Mr. Vine directs one to look up "assembly or congregation" when seeking the meaning of the Greek word "ekklesia" (from which our K. J. translators interpreted by the word "church") for "assembly" would be, and is a much better translation.
So then, what was our speaker's (i.e., Jesus') subject? It was His "ekklesia"—that assembly (denoting locality & visibility) of baptized believers for the purpose of worshipping God. -"Paul . . . unto the church (ekklesia—assembly) of God which is at Corinth . . ." 1st Corinthians 1:1-2 and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church (ekklesia—assembly) of the Thessalonians (1st Thessalonians 1:1), "Paul . . . and all the brethren which are with me unto the churches (ekklesias—assemblies" (Gal. 1:1-2). Please note the plurality here. Why would the Holy Spirit make this plural if there is only "one universal church" whether it be visible or invisible? Could it be because no such thing exists except in the mind of its defenders? "...Paul chose Silas, and departed... went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches. (ekkiesias—assemblies)" (Acts 15:41). and "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega (Christ), the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches (ekklesias—assemblies) (Rev. 1:11): Please note again—why would Christ make this plural here if He only has one "true universal church?" I believe it is because He knew the meaning of the Greek word and used it in its primary and literal sense, i.e., as local visible assemblies! (The Baptist Examiner, June 2, 1984, P. 6).
Let me call your attention to two or three things pointed out by Bro. Allen in this article. First, commenting on the various definitions of ekklesia, he says that "they all said that primarily an ekklesia is literally an assembly of people called out to a particular place to perform some particular business, and that in its Christian application it means an assembly of believers called out to worship in one place together. (Emp. Mine, RWC). An ecclesia is an assembly of people called out to a PARTICULAR PLACE says this Landmarker. An ecclesia is not two or more assemblies of people meeting in two or more places. It is an assembly (singular, one!) of people called out to a PARTICULAR PLACE (singular, one specific place). An ecclesia, according to Bro. Bruce and his scholars, is not two or more assemblies meeting in two or more particular places. It is an assembly of people called out to meet in a singular and particular place.
Again, Bro. Allen correctly declared, "So then, what was our speaker's (i.e., Jesus') subject? It was His ‘ekklesia’—that assembly (denoting locality & visibility) of baptized believers for the purpose of worshipping God.
Bro. Allen here points out that the word ekklesia is "that assembly" (singular, one!) of baptized believers. He emphasizes that the assembly—ekklesia—denotes "locality and visibility." Here we have another Landmarker who affirms very dogmatically and correctly that a true New Testament type of ecclesia is one, singular assembly of baptized believers organized together for the worship and service of God who meet in a singular locality as a visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It appears to me that we denigrate and discredit our arguments for the local-church-only position if we turn around and argue that two or more groups of people meeting in two or more localities compose one single ecclesia. It is even more discrediting to the local-church-only position when these multiple assemblies that are called one church may be separated by city limits, state boundaries, national borders, and even on separate continents. I see little or no difference in this concept than in the universal visible church argument of the Roman Catholic church.
I give a hearty "Amen!" to Bro. Bruce Allen’s argument that "an ekklesia is literally an assembly of people called out to a particular place to perform some particular business, and that in its Christian application it means an assembly of believers called out to worship in one place together.
And, I heartily endorse that statement of that Old Landmarker, J. R. Graves, when he said, "The ecclesia of the New Testament could, and was required to assemble in one place."
And, I fully support that declaration of Bro. Elton Wilson when he declared, "How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE. How local is the local church? IT IS LOCAL ENOUGH TO OBSERVE THE LORD'S SUPPER."
My enthusiasm is no less in sanctioning the testimony of Bro. H. Boyce Taylor who said, "Our first reason for contending that the word ekklesia never means any thing but an organized and an assembling church is that the Lord Jesus, who is the author of the Book of Revelation, uses the word ekklesia 20 times in Revelation and every time He uses it, He refers to a local organized and assembling church."
I energetically commend to the reader the testimony of Bro. Milburn Cockrell when he declared, "In order to have a church, baptized saints must come together in one place at the same time." "Twenty times the word church is used in the singular number, and it points to a church which meets in a certain place."
With no less vigor I support what Elder Curtis Pugh has written on this matter, "New Testament usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word "ecclesia" indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating body of people in a given locality."
It is with equal fervor that I commend to you the words of Elder Buel H. Kazee when he said, "Just one church in one locality sent some messengers to another church in another locality for the purpose of counsel on a problem in which they had a mutual interest. They all went back to their respective churches."
If you have three used cars on blocks in your front yard you may be a redneck. If you endorse the statements of these seven witnesses on the truly local nature of the New Testament type of ecclesia, you may be an Old Landmarker.
I fully and unequivocally declare my approval of their statements of the truly local nature of a New Testament type of ecclesia. That’s the kind of Old Landmarker I am. —Wayne Camp, Editor—
MORE EVIL FROM ROMISH SYSTEM
SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS BY PRIESTS—The Vatican has confirmed it is acting on allegations that some priests, mainly Africans afraid of contracting AIDS from prostitutes, have regularly forced nuns to have sex with them (3/26 Chr. News). In some instances, priests are said to have impregnated nuns and then forced them to have abortions. A nun charged that when a mother superior complained to the local bishop that 29 of her nuns were pregnant, the bishop replaced her instead of acting on the problem. Rome's unscriptural "forbidding to marry" (see I Tim. 4:3) teaching invites such sexual abuse. (Calvary Contender, April 15, 2001).
VEHICLE PURCHASE REPORT
By Wayne Camp
CLICK TO SEE BRO. ANOND PHOOTHAPTIM'S NEW FORD RANGER
Things do not always work out as we plan but I am thoroughly convinced that they always work out as God planned. When I presented the matter of raising money for a vehicle for Bro. Anond Phoothaptim to use in the mission work in Thailand, I told Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church that I wanted to raise approximately $10,000 for the vehicle and for related expenses—license, insurance, etc. When we sent out letters soliciting help from sister churches $10,000 was the amount we suggested that we needed.
PHBC members and I were overwhelmed with the generosity of those to whom we sent letters and many to whom we did not send letters. Ultimately, for the vehicle and other purposes, we received over $22,000. I was amazed, blessed and puzzled. Why had the Lord moved his churches and people to give so much more than we sought?
NOW I KNOW
The Lord knew what I would face in Thailand when Bro. Anond and I went out shopping for a vehicle. The vehicle pictured below is what I intended to buy. This Jeep-like Suzuki would seat four adults reasonably comfortably and still had a small luggage compartment behind the back seat. When new they sold in 2000 for a little over $8,000.
CLICK TO SEE OLD SUZUKI
The problem is Suzuki does not make this vehicle any more. They have replaced it with the one below. The wheelbase is about the same but they have cut the back seat down to where only two or three small children could sit in it. I managed to get into the back seat but literally had to just fall out to get out it was so crowded. They took part of the seating and the luggage space behind the back seat and replaced it with a little pickup-type bed. The one pictured has chrome roll bars installed on it. The sales lady told us after we went elsewhere and bought the truck pictured at the top that many people had come to buy a new vehicle like the older vehicle but went somewhere else because they did not like the new model. It did not take me long to decide it would not be good stewardship of God’s money to spend $9,000 on such a dinky little vehicle.
CLICK TO SEE NEW MODEL SUZUKI
We then spent a day visiting other dealers. We looked at Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Ford, Jeep (outrageously priced), Mazda, and Toyota. We got the best price and were most impressed with the Ford Ranger with 5-speed manual transmission and diesel engine. The next morning we went to the Ford dealer and commenced negotiating a price. While there, two or three sales people from the other dealers called us on Bro. Anond’s cell phone. Each time we received such a call, the price was reduced a little more. In the end, we bought the 4-wheel drive Ford ranger pictured above. We added a grill guard, running boards, a topper and luggage carrier. We also had seat pads with back put in the rear. The topper is sealed much the same as the front area and has its own air dispenser so that it can be air-conditioned as cool as the front. We did not close a deal but agreed to meet the saleslady for dinner that evening and discuss the matter further. At dinner we finally agreed on a price of 673,255 bohts. In US dollars that day that was about $15,250. We were not to pay for it until the next day. Over night we were blessed in the strengthening of the dollar against the both and we actually paid about $150 less than the agreed price because it took fewer dollars to purchase the agreed upon bohts. Incidentally, the agreed upon price included one full year of insurance and a three-year, 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) warranty.
The next day, in a rented van, we visited two churches and did some shopping so that once we had the new truck, we could concentrate on the work. The following afternoon late the lady who sold us the truck and the man who installed the topper, luggage carrier, etc. delivered the pickup to us at the hotel. Bro. Anond is in the middle in the picture below
DELIVERY OF NEW PICKUP
When we began to travel from church to church and village to village, I knew why the Lord moved on his churches and people to be so generous. The truck is more comfortable than even the larger Suzuki and negotiates the mountain roads easily. In addition to purchasing the vehicle, because of the generosity of several churches and individuals, I was able to do a number of things for the work while in Thailand. I will give more details on this next issue. When I was ready to leave, I gave Bro. Anond all the bohts I had left (about $325 worth) for fuel for the truck and another commitment I had made to one of the churches. I had promised to buy them a light so they can have bible classes in the evening after folks get in from their fields. I did keep enough bohts to pay my airport fee (500) and to eat in Bangkok. I brought home enough traveler’s checks that we were able to set up a fuel fund for Bro. Anond with $2,445 in it. We will send this as he needs it for diesel fuel and servicing of the truck. It should last 6-8 months unless fuel prices keep climbing. Perhaps others will be able to assist us as we then continue to send money for fuel.
Letters were prepared to send to all who contributed before I left for Thailand March 12. But, time ran out on me and I did not get them mailed. Now I am glad I did not for I am rewriting them. On the way home I got a flu-like bug and with that and my trouble adjusting to the 12-hour change in time and jet-lag, and preparing the publication of this paper, I have not gotten them in the mail. They will soon be mailed, however.
Over the next few months I will give other reports on the trip and seek to acquaint you with more of the needs of this field so that you may assist if God impresses you to do so. While some designate how they want their offering used, others simply tell us to use it where and as needed. This is good because we could get more than needed in one area and less than needed in another. Though I hesitate to name the most pressing needs, I believe, as do Brethren Green and Lee, that with the increase in churches (there are now 13 or 14 in Thailand and 9 in Burma) we need to increase the expense money that is sent to Bro. Anond. I spent a good deal of time discussing his budget with Bro. Anond, and after he pays expenses, he has practically nothing left. I asked him, "How do you eat?" Also, his brother has just finished Bible school and is going to be helping him in the work. Daniel can be supported for about $280-$300 per month. He is a hard worker and great with children as well as adults. The medical work that Sister Lee and Bro. Anond do is also vital to the health of these Hill-Tribe churches. It is all the medical treatment many of them get.
One of the questions Bro. Lee and I have been asked is, "To whom do we send support for the Thailand work." You may send it to any of these three churches.
Landmark Baptist Church
1909 Thomas Road
Fort Worth, TX 76117
Central Baptist Church
327 Second Street
Grenada, MS 38901-3204
Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church
3084 Woodrow Street
Memphis, TN 38127-6658
Brethren Lee, Green, and I carefully coordinate the efforts and support of the work and are careful not to duplicate what another is doing. In other words, all three pastors are kept aware of what is going on and we talk regularly about needs and how to supply those needs. Regardless of which of the three churches you choose to send the money, we assure you it will be channeled to the work with the full knowledge of the other two churches.
I would suggest that it would be best if no one sends checks directly to Bro. Anond. There is a lengthy waiting period after he gets the check before he can get the money and as much as a 30% fee for handling checks.
I will close this article by saying that I have never been involved in a work that has more excited me. Bro. Bill Lee and Bro. Jack Green will concur in that I believe. God has opened a great door of opportunity in these villages that are mostly located in the jungles of Thailand. I must stop for now or I will go on and on. I will write more in coming issues.
Bro. Anond desires the prayers of all who assist in this work and asked me to convey his appreciation for your support and for the new truck.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011