Let Them Lead

Within the Missouri Baptist Convention there is dissent concerning the matters of supporting the so called “Acts 29” movement.  Part of the dissent is over their allowance of beverage alcohol which Baptists have long been know for being temperant in their teaching and standards of our churches.

We have on the MBC Executive Board men and women who have been appointed to serve, hear the reports of agencies, committees, and officers; then decide on how to procede with certain matters.  Do we trust them or not.  They all have been sent there from the churches of the MBC with the recommendations of their pastors, Director of Missions (Associations), and other pastors; then they have been approved by the Convention when we meet each year.

Now, many who have disagreed with a decision for us to refrain from supporting Acts 29, have gone into a contentious mode of attacking the leadership of our convention, and raising a dissention which has not been seen before.

I know that the local churches are the head over the Conventions.  The Conventions serve the local churches.  The local church is what Jesus Christ established, and not Associations or Conventions; however, these organizations are tools which we have established to serve us, aid us, give us guidance and direction, and even to strengthen our missions capability.  When we rebell, which is what is happening, we go against the trust that has been put in our Executive Board.

Understand, when a Board, Director, or agency goes contrary to the way of Scripture, steals agencies, and speaks contrary to the local church without its best at heart, then there needs to be a legal, Biblical, prayerful removal of those  who have previously been sent to represent us; but that is not the case with the current members of our Executive Board.  The rebellion is from the outside.

I do not agree with every decision our EB has made, but I do concerning Acts 29 and beverage alcohol.  All I am saying is let the Board do its work the best way they can, and know how, trust them to make good, and godly decisions.  Concerning this matter of Acts 29 and beverage alcohol they have the good of our churches, holding on to strong doctrines which we believe as Baptists, and a pure and clean heart, body and soul for the people of our Convention.

The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.” 13:7 (NKJV).  Then in verse 17 he writes, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.  Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

No, the board is not our pastor, nor our leaders for our local church, but we have sent them to represent us.  Let’s let them represent us without burdening them with the dissension which is going on.  Let’s pray for them, support them, and be supportive of their decisions when they are done for our best interest, the good of our people and the glory of the Lord.  It has never pleased the Lord to be contentious against His leadership; let us give the same respect to those who are representing us.  Let us Let them lead without dissension

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Don’t Be Found Out

Don’t Be Found Out

Has anyone ever stopped to think about the foolishness of idolatry. That is the desire for things, the greed for wealth, the lust for power, and/or the opposite sex; and in some cases of this day the perversion of the same sex. That is, afterall, what idolatry is all about.

We live in an era not dissimilar from Jeremiah’s. The people were living in basic comfort, secure in their wealth, and easy lives. Though, ours is plagued somewhat with fear of terrorism we still go about doing whatever we please; paying the exhorbitant prices for gasoline, and everything going up due to that; yet we purchase, or at least those who can do. Power for more of the things desired.

Hear the word of the LORD through the prophet Jeremiah:

“As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, so is the house of Israel ashamed; They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.” Jeremiah 2:26-28 (NKJV).

It seems quite clear that the people of Judah have been caught in the practice of idolatry, worshipping other gods, which are not gods at all, but more burdens for the people to carry. Have you ever noticed the junk that we in our society build up and keep in closets, garages, security vaults, magazine racks, and how valuless they really are?

In the prophet Jeremiah’s day they were here being accused of having wood idols, and giving it praise for being their father. Also of telling one made of stone that was their mother. In the worship of other gods, they turned their back on God, denying Him as their birthparent as a nation. By turning their back and not their faces we find a great hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy is that while everything is going good, life is easy and comfortable, they really have no care to remember God, His holy days, nor His Law or His Word. However, when they start hearing about an enemy, or having some other troubles they begin to cry out to the true God for help. God, the LORD, says to that, “Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your trouble;” It is like He is saying to them you have plenty of gods you love and adore more than Me, “Let them help you”. The prophet continues by saying, “For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.” You would think that the more gods the better. Right? Wrong.

The one true God is sufficient to meet our every need. In fact there is no other god but the LORD God. The one who loves us enough to send His Son to die in our place.

We continue now to the next two verses:

“Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,’ says the LORD. ‘In vain I have chastened your children; They received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion.'” Jeremiah 2:29-30 (NKJV).

At times when people face catastrophe they tend to recognize that God does exist. When things ease off, and start getting back to normal it is back to the worship of things,getting those desires met, achieving those personal goals at the cost of life, limb, or friendships, or spouses and family. When this happens, some of it is genuine, and some is not. The one’s who are genuine will continue being faithful when the things start being good again. They will hear the voice of the LORD and will obey Him. They do not turn away.

These are the ones whom the LORD will bless. These are the ones whom the LORD has genuinely saved.

These “two faced” people are about as dependable as a flat tire, and no rim with it. The correction of the LORD does no good, accomplishes nothing, and they hate the prophets who tell them the truth for the saving of their souls.

Don’t turn your back on God. Don’t be a two faced individual who worships God on Sunday, then, through the rest of the week no one will ever know any difference from watching your life, hearing your dirty words, and dirty jokes. When you have given your life to the LORD through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ your life changes, for His glory and your good. You will love the Law, the History of His people, the Wisdom of the sages, and the prophets; both the Major and Minor prophets. You will love God’s Word.  You will desire to please the LORD.

-by Tim A. Blankenship