January 29, 2009 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is by Dr. Terry Coomer. God has given Brother Coomer some special wisdom about the building a godly Christian life and family. He is the Pastor of Elwood Bible Baptist Church and the Director of For the Love of the Family Ministries. He holds Family Conferences in local churches. He may be contacted at For Love of the Family Ministries, P.O. Box 535, Elwood, IN 46036, 765-552-1973, email@example.com.
This is one part of a multiple part message. See Coomer’s web site for other parts -- www.fortheloveofthefamily.com.
REARING SPIRITUAL CHILDREN
TRAINING UP IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO
By Terry Coomer
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26
The Bible has a lot to say about rearing children. This lesson or message undoubtedly will be different from the normal thinking or perhaps even what you have ever heard before. It is not my purpose to criticize anyone. God knows my heart. Just as the Bible gives principles for other areas of life, it gives principles in this area as well. I know there is a lot of confusion in this area. Parents are hurting. Children are hurting. We certainly are not seeing children grow up and serve the Lord today. Why?
January 27, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The following is from the new Advanced Bible Studies Series on the Epistle of James.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-18).
James says that effectual prayer availeth much. It changes things in this wicked world. We don’t have to understand everything about prayer to have a fruitful prayer life. It is enough that God has taught us to pray. Christ modeled prayer in His earthly life, and if the Son of God needed to pray, how much more do we! Effectual prayer changes things, and I need to ask myself what things are being changed through my prayers?
1. Effectual prayer is fervent and earnest (Jam. 5:16-17).
The Greek word translated “effectual” (energeo) in verse 16 is elsewhere translated “be mighty in” (Gal. 2:8). The words “prayed earnestly” in verse 17 is translated from proseuchomai (Strong 4336) prosyookhay (Strong 4335), which could literally be translated “and he prayed prayed,” thus emphasizing the earnestness of the prayer. Effectual prayer is not rote prayer; it is not repeating a prayer out of habit; it is not reading a prayer as a mere mental exercise. Effectual prayer is earnest, enthusiastic, zealous, heart-felt.
Bill Gothard has wielded vast influence among fundamentalists and independent Baptists. Not long after I was converted in 1973 I was invited to one of Gothard’s Basic Youth Conflict seminars and in 1978 I attended a Gothard minister’s conference in Tampa, Florida. His organization claims that more than two and a half million people have attended his seminars, and many more have been influenced by those who have attended and by using his materials.
Long ago we issued warnings about Gothard’s dangerous tendency to intermingle human psychology and his own thinking to a level of authority alongside the Scriptures, his dangerous ecumenism, downplaying the scriptural position of the church*, and other things, but now he has fallen farther off the deep end. Now he is promoting charismatic-style Power of Blessing and Total Health programs.
This is not totally surprising, because as early as 1994 Gothard attended a radically ecumenical conference that featured Charismatics. This was Bill Bright’s Prayer and Fasting conference in December of that year. To understand why Gothard should not have participated in this conference, we have to know something about the man who brought it together. The late Bill Bright had one of the most radically unscriptural ecumenical philosophies and agendas. As early as 1969, Bright said, “We do not attack the Roman Church. We believe God is doing a mighty work in it and will no doubt use millions of Roman Catholics to help evangelize the world” (The Post & Times Star, Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 30, 1969). We mightily wonder how this could be when the Roman Catholic Church preaches a false gospel. At Billy Graham’s Amsterdam '86 conference, Bright said, “There was a day when Protestants and Roman Catholics would not have much to do with one another. But today the Spirit of God is doing such a great work in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant fellowships and communions that I feel very much at home wherever Jesus Christ is honored” (Foundation, Jul.-Aug. 1986).Continue reading this article……
(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
The following is excerpted from our new book Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, which is available from Way of Life Literature. It can be ordered by phone or e-mail with a credit card, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mass or Eucharist is the highpoint of mysticism in the Roman Catholic Church. As we shall see in the chapter on “A Description of Roman Catholic Monasticism,” it was the very heart and soul of ancient Catholic monastic mysticism and it remains so today. The monks and nuns center their lives on the Mass.
What could be more mystical than touching God with your hands and taking Him into your very being by eating him in the form of a wafer? In the Mass the strangely-clothed, mysterious priest (ordained after the order of Melchisedec) pronounces words that mystically turn a wafer of unleavened bread into the very body of Jesus. The consecrated wafer, called a host (meaning victim) is eaten by the people.
On some occasions one larger host is placed in a gaudy metal holder called a monstrance to be worshipped (“adored”) as God. This is called Eucharistic adoration.
Eventually the host is placed in its own little tabernacle as the focus of worship between Masses. A lamp or a candle is lit to signify the fact that the consecrated host is present.
Carbon trading and carbon offsetting are similar schemes. Carbon offsetting is done voluntarily by individuals and companies that have bought into the global warming myth, whereas carbon trading is done by companies that are forced to do so by their governments (e.g., the members of the European Union) under treaties such as Kyoto, which sets limits in the production of carbon emissions (the so-called green house gas emissions).
For the purposes of this article and for the sake of simplicity, we will use the term “carbon trading” to refer to both trading and offsetting.
Carbon trading begins by determining one’s “carbon footprint” via various formulas. (For example, a jumbo jet flying round trip from London to Miami is said to release the equivalent of 1420 tons of “green house emissions.”)
January 20, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
The following is from the Advanced Bible Studies Series “The Book of Acts,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:44-45).
Does Acts 2 describe some sort of communism or communalism in the early churches?
First, we observe that it was not coerced but was done of their own free will. Compare Acts 5:4, where Peter said to Ananias and Sapphira of their possessions, “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?...”
January 19, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The following is adapted from the report “Occultic Twilight Movie Praised by Christian Groups” by Caryl Matrisciana:
The Twilight Saga is a series of novels by Stephenie Meyer describing an illicit romance between a teenage girl and a vampire.
The four books have sold more than 17 million copies, been translated into 20 languages, and spun off a new movie that grossed $70 million in its first week.
Twilight has become a pop culture phenomenon hotter than Pottermania, promoting midnight release parties and vampire proms, obsessed fans called Twi-hards, and spawning more than 350 fan sites online that claim more than 100 million hits.
Many conservative Christian groups have produced materials exposing Roman Catholicism, but ours are unique in this sense: We believe that preaching is the method that God has ordained to tear down false ideas and erect truth in its place. Our videos are preaching presentations first, but they also include video and photographs that we have gathered in our research trips to help reinforce the points being made.
This video exposes the pagan roots of the Roman Catholic system in a clear and concise way and includes photographs and video shot on location in Rome. One viewer said: “This is an excellent video presentation. The pictures shown are very helpful and revealing. That's the clearest and most forward teaching on Revelation 17 I have heard and seen so far." This is a timely presentation in light of the astonishing sympathy toward Rome that is displayed by Protestants, New Evangelicals, Charismatics, and others and will help prepare God’s people to deal with the apostasy and compromise of these last days.
In addition, this DVD presentation includes a bonus section of 30 minutes of interviews with typical Roman Catholics in Rome, including a Jesuit priest at Gesu Church, the home of the Jesuit Order, a missionary Brother from Philadelphia, and the gentleman below, Patrick Pinto, a Roman Catholic priest who maintains that he is still a Hindu at heart. $19.95
January 15, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
The spiritually-dangerous nature of Focus on the Family (FOF) was evident in a reply that was given to a Christian who wrote to them about having Anne Rice, the Roman Catholic author of occultic horror novels, on the Focus radio program. In a reply dated December 3, 2008, Timothy Masters wrote the following for Focus on the Family:
“Your quotations from the canons of the Council of Trent, though perfectly legitimate as regards the theological aspects of this issue, fail to take account of the fact that, from a strictly evangelical perspective, a saving relationship with Jesus Christ is an intensely personal and individual matter. In the final analysis, it’s not a question of church membership or doctrinal orientation. ... It’s arguable that many individual Roman Catholics--Anne Rice included--have a very real and lively faith in the Lord Jesus. ... It’s worth adding that anti-Catholic sentiments like those you’ve expressed are more than just uncharitable and un-Christlike. They’re also harmful to the richness of your own Christian experience. ... To dismiss the Roman Catholic Church wholesale is to obliterate the first fifteen centuries of Christian history. It’s to deprive ourselves of the contributions of such great leaders and thinkers as ... Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Aquinas. You may be willing to throw treasures like these out the window, but we aren’t.”
This statement reflects gross ignorance both of the Bible and of church history. The Bible plainly teaches that it is impossible to be saved apart from the one true gospel of the grace of Christ (Galatians 1:8-9). Since the Roman Catholic Church teaches a false gospel of sacramentalism (e.g., the Council of Trent, which has never been rescinded, cursed those who say that salvation is by God’s grace alone), it is impossible to be saved if one believes what Rome teaches. The Bible warns of false christs, false gospels, and false spirits (2 Corinthians 11:1-4). Rome’s christ is a consecrated wafer. Its gospel is the sacraments. Its spirit is one that leads men to pray to a mythical Mary. As for Francis of Assisi and Thomas Aquinas, they worshipped Rome’s false christ, held to its false gospel, and followed its false spirit.
Focus on the Family may be willing to follow in their footsteps, but we thank God for the light He has shined into our formerly-darkened hearts to give us the spiritual wisdom to follow the path of truth rather than that of popular error. We don’t reject the first 1,500 years of church history, but the New Testament prophesies two streams of “churches,” the false and the true, and we thank God that He has shown us the difference.
(photo above: Anne Rice with rosary. Rice recently returned to her Roman Catholic roots, and has been embraced by James Dobson as an authentic Christian.)
Enlarged January 12, 2009 (first published April 3, 1999) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The charismatic movement is a part of the Southern Baptist religious melting pot. Though a few churches and individual missionaries have been put out of the Convention for charismatic doctrine and practice, many others remain, and the number appears to be increasing.
In Christianity Today, May 16, 1986, Pastor Don LeMaster of the West Lauderdale Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, estimated that five percent of SBC congregations were openly charismatic at that time. That number has probably increased during the past years.
Charisma magazine, March 1999, contained a report entitled “Shaking Southern Baptist Tradition,” which gave many examples of charismatic Southern Baptist congregations.
A 2008 report in the Associated Baptist Press estimated that 500 SBC churches are charismatic (“Charismatic Southern Baptists See Themselves Open to Spiritual Gifts,” ABP, Nov. 20, 2008).
In 1995, two professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, told Baptist Press that Southern Baptists shouldn’t fear the charismatic movement. “We shouldn’t feel defensive or threatened by an alternative experience, perspective or insights about the Holy Spirit,” said William Hendricks, director of Southern’s doctoral studies program. Churches should not be making a big issue of the movement, he added, because “you could be fighting what is a legitimate experience of the Spirit.” Tim Weber, professor of church history, agreed: “Most charismatics take the Bible as seriously as Southern Baptists, although they read it differently,” he said. The professors also said Southern Baptists shouldn’t divide charismatics into a separate “camp,” since their influence has touched the 15 million-member Southern Baptist Convention. ... The professors believe the time has arrived for a more reasoned approach to charismatics and dialogue with them (Charisma, April 1995, p. 79).
Continue reading this article……
Bruce Lackey (1930-1988) was a great blessing in my life and I count it a privilege to offer the following biographical sketch of this man of God. The objective is not to glorify a man, but to glorify the God who saved and sanctified and used him.
Dr. Lackey* was a Baptist pastor, educator, and Bible conference preacher.
When he was young he attended a weak Baptist church by himself and made a profession of faith, but no one dealt with him carefully about salvation or discipled him, and it is uncertain whether he was actually saved then. His father died in a fire when Bruce was a boy. After attending community college he played piano at dances on Saturday nights for about three years.
In 1954 Bruce got right with the Lord. Gene Payne, the preacher who invited Bruce to church in those days, described his memory of this event to me in April 2007 as follows:
“When I met Bruce Lackey, I was Minister of Music and Youth at First Baptist Church in Thomaston, Georgia. Thomaston is approximately 75 miles south of Atlanta. Bruce worked in the bank which was located on the city square. The church building where I worked was a half block off the square, and every Monday morning I would go up to the bank where Bruce worked and deposit my check. Bruce was the teller, and I would invite him to church. In those days they had a few bars at the window. I have often stated when in a church service with Bruce, that when I met him he was behind bars. Of course I was referring to the bars at bank window! At that time, Bruce was playing in a dance band in some kind of a night club in Griffin, Georgia, which was located approximately twenty miles north of Thomaston. Bruce would get home late at night and that was an excuse he used for a few weeks for not coming to church. Finally, he came and if my memory serves me correctly he got right with the Lord in the first service. He began to attend church regularly, and I got him to go to jail services with me where he would give his testimony. I dare say that the first soul that Bruce ever led to the Lord was one of those inmates.”
The same year that Bruce got right with the Lord he married Helen Gilbert, who was an employee at the same bank where he worked in Thomaston.
He pastored two churches: Hardison Baptist Church in Byron, Georgia, for a couple of years, and Lakewood Baptist Church in Harrison, Tennessee, for eight years.
He taught at Tennessee Temple for 19 years and was the Dean of the Bible School for about 10 years. He was the Dean when my wife studied there from 1968-1972 and when I was there from 1974-1977. (I didn’t get saved until I was 23, whereas my wife went to Bible College right after high school.)
Dr. Lackey trained many classes of “preacher boys” who revere his name to this day and who thank the Lord for the godly influence that this “man of the Book” had in their lives and ministries. A high percentage of the students at the Tennessee Temple Bible School from its inception in the 1950s through the late 1970s were men who were saved and called to preach in manhood, many coming to Temple from the military. A high percentage of the graduates went on to plant churches throughout the world and today these men form a significant circle within the Independent Baptist fold.
Continue reading this article……
January 8, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is an excerpt from the Advanced Bible Studies Series “PROVERBS,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.
THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN (Proverbs 31:10-31)
This book, which has warned frequently of the danger of the strange woman and the foolish wife (e.g. Prov. 2:16-19; 5:3-14; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18; 11:22; 14:1; 21:9; 23:27-28; 25:24), concludes with the glory of the virtuous wife.
It is a wonderful token of grace that this description of the virtuous woman was written by Bathsheba (assuming, as we do, that it was). She writes that the husband of the virtuous woman can safely trust in her, yet she betrayed the trust of her first husband by responding to David’s sinful invitation. Of course she might have put herself and her husband in jeopardy by refusing David’s lust, but she would have kept God’s Law and maintained her honor. Yet God forgave her sin and she became a prophetess of truth and righteousness and a spokeswoman for virtue!
Bathsheba exhorts her son to find a virtuous woman. This was probably taught to him as he was growing up. That he disobeyed his mother’s counsel resulted in his terrible backsliding and the loss of most of the kingdom (1 Kings 11:1-13).
This lengthy description of the virtuous woman teaches us the immense importance of the godly wife. She is mentioned in many passages of the New Testament as well (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 3:11; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6). “And with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any one thing to the keeping up of religion in families, and the entail of it upon posterity, that the mothers be wise and good; and of what consequence it is to the wealth and outward prosperity of a house every one is sensible. He that will thrive must ask his wife leave” (Matthew Henry). “In choosing a wife, fools will follow their fancy, and the wise will act according to reason and the word of God” (George Lawson).
In the Hebrew language Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic. Each verse begins with a different character in the Hebrew alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Tau. This facilitated memorization by Jewish children.
January 7, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is excerpted from our new book CONTEMPLATIVE MYSTICISM: A POWERFUL ECUMENICAL BOND. Contemplative mysticism, which originated with Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox monasticism, is permeating every branch of Christianity today, including the Southern Baptist Convention. In this book we document the fact that Catholic mysticism leads inevitably to a broadminded ecumenical philosophy and to the adoption of heresies. For many, this path has led to interfaith dialogue, Buddhism, Hinduism, universalism, pantheism, panentheism, even goddess theology. One chapter is dedicated to exposing the heresies of Richard Foster: “Evangelicalism’s Mystical Sparkplug.” We describe the major contemplative practices, such as centering prayer, visualizing prayer, Jesus Prayer, Lectio Divina, and the Labyrinth. We look at the history of Roman Catholic Monasticism, beginning with the Desert Fathers and the Church Fathers, and document the heresies associated with it, such as its sacramental gospel, rejection of the Bible as sole authority, veneration of Mary, purgatory, celibacy, asceticism, allegorical interpretation of Scripture, and moral corruption. We examine the errors of contemplative mysticism, such as downplaying the centrality of the Bible, ignoring the fact that multitudes of professing Christians are not born again, exchanging the God of the Bible for a blind idol, ignoring the Bible’s warnings against associating with heresy and paganism, and downplaying the danger of spiritual delusion. In the Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics we look at the lives and beliefs of 60 of the major figures in the contemplative movement, including Benedict of Nursia, Bernard of Clairvaux, Brother Lawrence, Catherine of Genoa, Catherine of Siena, Dominic, Meister Eckhart, Francis of Assisi, Madame Guyon, Hildegard of Bingen, Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Keating, Thomas a Kempis, Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Basil Pennington, John Michael Talbot, Teresa of Avila, Teresa of Lisieux, and Dallas Willard. The book contains an extensive index. 482 pages, $19.95
This book can be ordered online, by phone, or by e-mail with a credit card, 866-295-4143, email@example.com, www.wayoflife.org
Another example of how the Roman Catholic Church is spreading her tent to encompass pagan religions in these last days is the life of Benedictine monk ALAN RICHARD “BEDE” GRIFFITHS (1906-93), who called himself Swami Dayananda (bliss of compassion).
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:23-29)
The “assembling of ourselves together” in Hebrews 10:25 is clearly a reference to the New Testament church of which every believer is to be a faithful member. This is the example that is given throughout the book of Acts, beginning with Acts 2:41-42. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and has been commissioned to fulfill the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). The Commission was given to the apostles, who were the representatives of the churches.
Such a great and glorious work requires faithful workers, and those who neglect the church are neglecting their spiritual duty. No human institution can be successful apart from committed and faithful members. This is true for a business, a football team, or a government agency. And it is equally true for the church. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). “As spiritual declension sets in, one of the first things to fade is faithfulness to the assembly of the local church. Observe that even then, wavering Christians were sporadic in attendance to their local churches” (David Sorenson).
Why the believer needs to be faithful to the church:Continue reading this article……