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Does Your Church Perform Infant Baptisms?

Does your church practice paedo-baptism (infant baptisms)? Most Baptist churches insist they don’t, or do they? Did they just change the age from infant to 6-8 years?

Paige Patterson – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.”

Here is the context of that quote from an interview between Mark Dever and Paige Patterson found in Interview with Paige Patterson from Founder’s Ministries.

Dever: I heard about one church recently, and I don’t know if you know about churches like this or not, in order to encourage baptisms among children the baptistry is shaped like a fire truck and they’ve got confetti cannons that go off whenever a kid is baptized. Do you know about any of this?

Patterson: This is my first time to hear this. This is blasphemous!

Dever: Anyway, it’s a church in America. It’s an evangelical church and they mean to preach the gospel so I want to be real quick to say their intentions are good. That’s going to get kids of course, because they want to come forward, get in the fire truck and make the confetti cannons go off. {If you have not heard of this see Children’s Ministry: Toon Time.}

Patterson: I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.

Dever: I know the average age of baptism has dropped, I think, about 10 years in the last 100 years. When you read biographies from the 19th century, they’re always getting baptized at 17, 18, 19, 20. J. R. Graves was baptized when he was 19. John Gill was that way. John A. Broadus was that way.

Patterson: It’s out of hand in our churches.

Dever: I don’t think we have to say that children can’t be saved, we’re not saying that at all. But the difficulties to us are knowing that they’re saved

Patterson: Because of the difficulties of communication.

See also Childhood Conversion.

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Sunday November 23rd Services – Grace Life

How to Be Financially Successful p2 – Spend Responsibly

Matthew 6:25-34

Service: Sunday Morning

Date: November 23, 2008

Preacher: Jeff Noblit

A. The Sin Behind Irresponsible Spending: Greed

B. Damage of the Sin of Greed

1. Testimony

2. Family

3. Health

4. Friendships

C. Wealth does not equal Greed; Poor can have the Sin of Greed

Guidelines for Responsible Spending

1. Give tithe and offering first – Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:15.

2. Little or no debt for depreciating items. Proverbs 22:7

3. Husband over finances. He will be held responsible.

4. No credit debt.

5. Use a budget – Proverbs 21:5

6. Discuss purchases above a set amount with Spouse.

7. Keep a record of purchases and evaluate.

8. Buy clothes off season.

9. Plan meals monthly.

10. Get a family financial checkup.

Sustaining Faith

Jonah 2:1-10

Service: Sunday Evening

Date: November 23, 2008

Preacher: Jeff Noblit

Future Grace

Fertilize the seeds of sustaining Faith – Romans 12:3;

Jonah 1:17 – an appointed fish

Germinate the seeds of sustaining Faith – Jonah prays to the Lord

Flourishing of the Faith – Jonah 2:7; 2 Corinthians 1:15; 2:16

Accepts God’s purposes – Jonah 2:3

It will work out.

It will work out for God’s glory.

It will work out for my good.

These videos seem to only stay for a few weeks in this area of the church’s website. Later the audio will be available in Latest Resources under the title.

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The Southern Baptist Convention is not Christian Enough

The Southern Baptist Convention is not Christian enough according to Tom Ascol. I must say I agree with the assessment.

The Other Resurgence by Tom Ascol

…at the heart of this movement is not a desire to “Calvinize” the SBC, but to “Christianize” it. You read that correctly. The great problem with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention is not that they are not Calvinistic enough, but that it is not Christian enough.

Either Christ is Lord of the church, or He is not. If He is, then local churches have no choice but to follow His clear teaching about how churches are to function. Historically, Baptists have been champions of this principle and have been the vanguard of advocating regenerate church membership and church discipline. The sad but incontrovertible fact is that most Southern Baptist churches give only lip service to these teachings of Christ, if they regard them at all.

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Our Visit to Grace Life Church – Jeff Noblit’s Church

We visited Grace Life Church this past Sunday. Several people have asked for me to tell them all about the services.

Isaiah was nice enough to introduce me to a friend that attends Grace Life Church. We were able to meet Brother Ed and his wife just before the services started. Thank you, Isaiah and Brother Ed.

Our usual seat in our previous church was the third row on the very right side of the platform and this time we ended up sitting in the fourth pew back on that side. Since we were so close and obviously new Pastor Noblit came down and shook our hands during the greeting time. The church was friendly enough and several people came up and greeted us before, during and after the services.

For those that live near B’ham the church was very similar in style to Dawson or Shades Mountain Baptist but not quite as large, maybe 500 – 700 people. One of the first things I noticed is that here were no hymnals in the pews. The words to the songs are projected on the two large overhead screens. The songs they sang were a combination of hymns and praise and worship songs. The robed choir sang a selection. Then they left the loft, very quietly, during a prayer and joined the sanctuary.

The sanctuary has an orchestra pit behind the podium area. It consisted of guitars, keyboards, drums, timpani, woodwinds, and brass instrumentalist. My daughter was disappointed that it didn’t seem to have strings, her favorite. A grand piano is on the platform played by Jeff Noblit’s wife. (We did met Pastor Noblit’s in-laws and they were very nice.)

Pastor Noblit is in the middle of a series on Finances. That Sunday morning the sermon was How to Be Financially Successful p2 – Spend Responsibly. For the evening service, the sermon was on Jonah – Sustaining Faith. Both sermons were very good and clearly defended the sovereignty of the Lord in all that occurs. I’ll post notes and links later.

My husband and children all enjoyed the services and would go back regularly except for the drive. I enjoyed the sermons, but must admit that I prefer more hymns and less Praise and Worship music. In addition, the music was louder than I care for, but my son (previous sound technician) says that was one of the loudest spots due to the speaker placement and our proximity to them. I can’t say it was wrong or bad just a matter of taste.

The church’s website states “We are sovereign grace in doctrine, Baptist in polity, and charismatic in worship.” I had wondered what “charismatic in worship” meant months ago and was reminded of that phrase just before we left to visit. It depends on what the definition of charismatic is but according to our family we wouldn’t have said charismatic but maybe joyful praise.

For those that will ask, no we didn’t see Paul Washer.

Voddie Baucham’s church would be very interesting to visit but someone else will have to do that since it is in Texas. His church is Southern Baptist also but it is also family integrated which we would like.

Thank you Berean Husband for planning our trip.


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A Vacation to go to Church ?

We visited a small, local church Wednesday night because time didn’t allow for us to get to the churches we prefer to attend but that are a long drive for us.  During the sermon, the preacher complained about people taking vacations and not going to church.  My husband gave me a funny look at that statement.

You see we are taking a vacation in order to go to church.  We are driving out of town today and staying in a state park just outside of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit‘s church Grace Life Church of the Shoals is in Muscle Shoals.  We will be visiting his church for Sunday morning and evening.  Paul Washer also attends this church but isn’t scheduled to preach.

My husband and I have been in Southern Baptist Churches all our lives but never one that was reformed in their theology.  We are interested in seeing a Reformed Southern Baptist Church such as Grace Life.  There has to be some good reason that Jeff Noblit, Paul Washer, Albert Mohler and Voddie Baucham are all still Southern Baptist.

So I will be out of pocket for a few days.  Please go ahead and leave comments they will just be held in moderation until I get back to them.  I have a few Noblit and Washer videos scheduled over the next couple of days so you can see why the interest in their church.


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Voddie Baucham on the SBC

The SBC and Calvinism: A Personal Perspective

Those who know me have probably asked me at one time or another why I am part of the Southern Baptist Convention. To tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking that a lot myself lately. I am especially disturbed by events at the recent John 3:16 conference sponsored by Jerry Vines Ministries, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The conference represents a growing antagonism in Southern Baptist life toward those who embrace the Doctrines of Grace.

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Say the “Believer’s Prayer” Win a Car???

Do you think this is an appropriate method for sharing the gospel?

3-minute testimony leads 1,600 to Christ

Since January, Hill and others have been directing people to www.threeminutestory.com where they can watch his three-minute testimony and then register to win a new car or truck in a Dec. 12 drawing. The winner will choose between a Dodge Ram, a Jeep Wrangler or a Chrysler 300.

At the end of October, nearly 28,000 visits to the website had been logged and more than 6,300 people had registered to win the vehicle, Hill told Baptist Press.

Maybe I am more cynical than some people, but I can see someone thinking that if they say they made a “profession of faith” and said the “believer’s prayer” it will increase their chances for a new car. There are plenty who enter Magazine contests who feel subscribing to a magazine will increase their odds of winning.

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Regeneration vs Decisionism – Paul Washer

Just Sunday morning I sat through a service that included the statement:

“With every eye closed and every head bowed – no one is going to be looking around; raise your hand if ….”

I’m still looking for that verse or even concept in my Bible. Maybe I don’t have the same version they have?

Does this happen in Denominations other than Baptist or is this specifically a Baptist idea?

Paul Washer’s DEEPER Living Waters Conference October 10, 2008 Session

Paul Washer speaks against the misuse of Scripture in the understanding of salvation.

Video

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“We Went Out To Change The World And The World Changed Us”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Addressing trustees of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land said the state of the culture reflects the reality that it has influenced the people of God more than the people of God have influenced society.

Land, president of the Southern Baptist moral concerns entity, said the only hope for a reversal of this tide is a “heal the land” kind of blessing from God.

“We went out into the world to change the world and the world changed us,” Land lamented in remarks during the annual ERLC trustee meeting Sept. 16-17 in Nashville, Tenn.

As someone who came to maturity during the 1960s, Land said he could never have imagined that today 45 percent of the population could claim to be born-again Christians and yet the country be in the shape it is.

“The change that America needs is not going to start in Washington, D.C.,” Land said, calling government a “lagging indicator.” The government will change when the people change, he said.

The Baptist Press has a post about the salute to Richard Land and his 20 years of service to the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee. These quotes are from Land’s speech more can be found in the article – Land tells trustees: revival urgently needed.

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The Altar Call – Tozer

What’s Wrong With the Gospel?
A.W. Tozer

Some Inventions of Man That Have Become Essential Parts of the Modern Gospel

The Altar Call.

Imagine if you can, Jesus having people bow their heads after hearing the Sermon on the Mount, and then very slowly and softly (while Bartholomew plays “How Great Thou Art” on the accordion) saying to the crowd, “While your heads are bowed and your eyes are closed, if you really want to be My disciple tonight, if you really want to show My Father and I that you truly mean to follow this sermon I have given, then I want you to slip your hand up slowly, so that I may see it. There now…yes…yes…I see that hand…and that one…and the one way back by the fig tree…yes! Now, please, while Bart plays another chorus, I’d like you to start moving down through the center of the crowd…yes, those who raised their hand. I want to know if you really mean business. I’d like to lead you in a prayer...”

I realize that there are some who will see such an illustration as sacrilegious. And that’s just the point. They think that making fun of the “altar call” is making fun of God. But it isn’t. Traditions die hard, because they take so long to form. Once I received a very intense letter from the pastor of a church who had sponsored me in a city-wide concert in his area. He was upset that I had “let several hundred souls go ungathered” because I had not given an altar call. He said, “It seems you have no burden for souls.” (Nothing could be further from the truth.) But because I had not given the recognized “official invitation,” this pastor could see no value in my presentation of the Gospel. Or as Tony Salerno (director of “The Agape Force”) recently remarked, “If you don’t give an altar call, they think you have committed the unpardonable sin!‘”

The Gradual Altering of the “Altar Call”

Believe it or not, the altar call was invented only about 150 years ago. It was first used by the American evangelist, Charles Finney, as a means of separating out those who wanted to talk further about the subject of salvation. Finney called the front pew “the anxious seat” (for those who were “anxious” about the state of their souls) or “the mourner’s bench.” Finney never “led them in a prayer,” but he and a few others would spend a great deal of time praying with and giving specific instructions to each, one by one, until finally, everyone was sent home to pray and continue seeking God until “they had broken through and expressed hope in Christ,” as Finney would say.

The early Salvation Army, going a bit further on Finney’s innovation, developed what they called “the penitent form” or “the mercy seat.” After a rousing time of singing and preaching, they would invite any sinner present who wanted to confess his sins to God and repent, to come to the front, and they would be prayed for individually. I have met a few older Christians who used to attend some of these early meetings, and they said that sometimes people would stay there all night, and on a few occasions, even a few days, weeping and confessing their sins with broken hearts. There were always some who would stay right there to instruct them further, encouraging them to make a clean sweep of sin from their lives.

This is what the early “altar call” was like. But gradually, it began to become a fixed part of every meeting, and like all other traditions, it began to lose its original spirit. The “coming forward” part started to be more important than the “sorrow, confession, repentance, and instruction” parts. Eventually, anyone who would “come down the aisle” was excitedly proclaimed “a new believer in Christ!” No matter how they felt, they still were told, “Your sins are forgiven, brother! Rejoice in Christ!” How many a miserable, defeated, and confused person has come away from a meeting like this? (Jer. 6:14).

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