Church Discipline—we are not alone.

We recently had to bring three of our members before the church for church discipline.  This is always a sad time.  As a matter of fact, one of the saddest times in the life of a church is when someone who professes to be a follower of Christ willfully rejects following the Scripture and has to be removed from the Lord’s assembly.

The Bible clearly teaches church discipline, and there are a growing number of pastors who are leading their churches to follow the clear New Testament teaching concerning church discipline. 

Baptist churches have historically been based upon the New Testament teaching that the local church is an assembly of freely associated people who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit in salvation, followed the Lord in believer’s baptism by immersion, and covenanted together to encourage and hold each other accountable to live holy lives. 

Baptists still believe in a regenerate church membership and baptism by immersion, but the esteemed position of the visible regenerated life of holiness as demonstrated by the practice of church discipline is rare.  It is so rare, that when we practice it, a sense of aloneness stalks us. 

I want to assure you that we are not alone.  First and foremost, Christ said with regard to church discipline “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.””(Matthew 18:20) We can never be alone when Christ is with us. Second, although the scantiness of churches practicing church discipline is scandalous, it is delightfully encouraging that more and more pastors are practicing church discipline as they seek to be the true church.  Thirdly, we do not stand alone in the halls of Christian history because Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Anabaptist…practiced church discipline.

I thought you might find the following article’s glimpse into the recent history of church discipline in Baptist life encouraging. Continue reading →

Cheerful Giving!!!

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”(2 Corinthians 9:7)

As you well know, a couple in our church gave $200, 000.00 for renovating the Fellowship Hall, Kitchen and Gymnasium.  Although they chose to remain anonymous, I want you to know that they gave with a God honoring cheerfulness.  They were indeed as excited about giving as we are about receiving.  In fact, they were happy beyond words.  They gave with no strings attached, not seeking control, or human recognition just thankful that they could give. 

They gave an additional $100,000.00 in matching funds.  Consequently, they will match every dollar given by someone in our church up to $100,000.00.  The reason for giving this portion in this way is to encourage every member to be a part of the renovation and to encourage giving to allow for more work to be done.  By everyone being involved, no one will have to say look “at what some did”, but rather, by the grace of God, we can say “look what we did together”.

Now my challenge to each of you, as a part of Trinity Baptist Church, is to give as they gave:
 Thankful to God for providing through His people
 Grateful that God allows you to be a part of His work 
Cheerful and joyful that you can give
 As unto the Lord with no strings attached
 Proportionate to God’s blessings on you
 No desire for human rewards

Indebted

Ronnie W Rogers
 

Can God and Evil coexist?

Of course this is the age old question that is asked by virtually everyone at some time over the course of their life.  It may be a mother whose child died tragically, the philosopher who denies the existence of God or the solider who fought valiantly only to be rejected by the people he risk his life to protect. 

Some people look at the world full of natural calamities, war, hate, child abuse, divorce, innocent lives taken through the neglect of others…and the seemingly endless prospering from evil and conclude that there is no God; or if there is He does not care about me. 

The following notes were used in a presentation that I did on this subject, which I think will answer the problem of evil better than concluding that there is no God or that God does not care about you. Continue reading →

Isaac The Cat

Isaac Most of you at Trinity have heard me mention our cat, Isaac.  Usually, I used him in humorous illustrations that highlighted the differences between humans and animals—like the truth that Isaac never did chores, or held down a job, at least we never saw him break a sweat or offer to buy our dinner; although, these were humorous illustrations, they serve to demonstrate the undeniable reality that humans are not only different from animals in degree, but in kind. 

Overemphasizing the similarities between people and animals lead some to, practically speaking, equate the two as very near the same, with some even preferring a relationship with an animal over humans; but the similarities between them will never bridge the deep chasm artistically carved by their God given dissimilarities (Genesis 1:26-27). Continue reading →

The Compatibility of Genesis One and Two

Recently, The Roundtable in Theology at Trinity Baptist Church demonstrated how antagonists compare Genesis chapter one with chapter two and as a result, portray Genesis one as mere poetry, fiction, or myth—anything but historical prose. 

At times this contradictory relationship is due to simply misunderstanding the nature of Genesis one and two, but often it is premised on the belief that the Scripture is not totally reliable, or to be taken as normal prose in Genesis one.  This is almost always based on the presupposition that evolution is true and Genesis one and two must be interpreted in light of that rather than beginning with Genesis and interpreting evolution in light of the Biblical account. 

Ignoring the full breadth of the significance and purpose of chapter two is a glaring omission that leads to the conclusion that Genesis one and two are incompatible.  As a result of this conclusion, Christians are drawn into defending the trustworthiness of Genesis one and two based upon an unintended and indefensibly narrow purpose.   

The following article is intended to demonstrate that the purpose of the construction of chapter two is not only to elaborate on chapter one, but to connect chapter one to chapter three, and thereby transition the narrative forward in the unfolding account of man.  Chapter two, as constructed, is essential to communicating the full understanding of man’s beginning in a perfect garden, followed by the fall, the curse, the flood…and the full chronicle of God’s grace and provision of redemption for man as revealed in the following pages of Scripture.  Therefore, the omissions and additions of chapter two compared with chapter one are based upon this expanded purpose, and when understood as intended, do not conflict with chapter one. Continue reading →

Bibliography for Intelligent Design, Creation and Evolution

I have enclosed a preliminary list of books and websites in order to help you understand some of the most salient arguments for ID, Creation Science and the Genesis account.  These resources will expose some of the most glaring and problematic inadequacies of the theory of Evolution.  unfortunately, these inadequacies are routinely glossed over or ignored in the college classrooms, and ID and Creation Science are summarily dismissed with a shake of the head or by catagorizing them as  merely religious.  These books will help to arm you with the facts.  Continue reading →