A Christmas letter

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With Christmas around the corner and the (welcome) interruption to our normal patterns of life for a few days, I am finding it increasingly hard to write new posts to my blog. So, I plan to take the next two weeks off and hope to return to regular posting after the new year. Following is…



Cooperation–Baptist style

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The Baptist Faith and Message statement on cooperation makes several helpful points that are worth highlighting. 1. Each local church is autonomous and no other ecclesiastical organization may exercise authority over it. 2. Each association and convention is autonomous and holds no authority over local churches. 3. Cooperation is right and good for members of…



Cooperation–Baptist style

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The Baptist Faith and Message makes several good points on cooperation that are worth highlighting. 1. Each local church is autonomous and no other ecclesiastical organization may exercise authority over it. 2. Each association and convention is autonomous and holds no authority over local churches. 3. Cooperation is right and good for members of local…



The Baptist Faith and Message on Cooperation

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The Baptist Faith and Message has become much more prominent in Southern Baptist life over the last six years. With its revisions that were adopted by the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention it has been used as a standard to help define the doctrinal borders of official SBC agencies and institutions. Article 14 addresses the issue…



Local church autonomy and missions support

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“Tom, Thanks. I’m a younger pastor (28), and it sounds like you’ve got us figured out….” -Pastor Brian I don’t know if I have younger pastors figured out or not, but I used to be one (a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away), I have many friends who fit that profile…



Cooperative Program Allocation

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Gene Veith wrote a few weeks ago in WORLD Magazine that, on average, about $.02 of every dollar given in a Protestant church offering goes to overseas missions. Southern Baptists have done better than most in funding the spread of the Gospel overseas through the collaborative effort of the Cooperative Program. Veith’s article, however, made…



What Christmas Church Closings Indicate

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What I find even more disturbing than churches actually cancelling their Lord’s Day services are the reasons that are being given to support their decisions. So far, what I have read or heard (from both the internet and our local media) as justifications for shutting down Christian churches on Sunday, December 25 can be grouped…



Christmas IRONY

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Several (Michael Spencer and Kevin Hash, among others) have pointed out the interesting announcements that are coming from some of the high-profile megachurches in America: they are cancelling their worship services on Sunday, December 25! The internet is beginning to be abuzz about this. An article from the Lexington Herald-Leader states: The list of closed…



Christmas Irony

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Over the next 3 weeks nearly everyone will be talking about Christmas. Schools will close and stores will stay open longer as everyone makes plans to celebrate the most widely observed holiday on our calendar. Of course, for many (perhaps most) Americans, Christmas is simply an excuse to spend money they don’t have on toys…



Spurgeon on Christmas

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JM asked about Spurgeon’s view of Christmas. I like Spurgeon on this subject because he does not fit easily into either of the simple pre-cut molds that tend to dominate those with strong opinions on whether Christians should even acknowledge, much less celebrate Christmas. In one corner you have those who give a resounding “NO”…