Monday, November 28, 2005

Tradition or Theology?

I read some disturbing news today. The International Mission Board trustees have approved some new policies for the selection of missionaries. The policies can be found at this link: The policies pertain to speaking in tongues and baptism.

The first policy states that "In terms of worship practices, the majority of Southern Baptist churches do not practice glossolalia (speaking in tongues)." And "In terms of general practice, the majority of Southern Baptists do not accept what is referred to as ‘private prayer language," "Therefore, if ‘private prayer language’ is an ongoing part of his or her conviction and practice, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC." The problem I have with this policy is that church practice is now determining the policies of SBC institutions. In this news article there is no Scripture cited. The evidence given for this policy is that it is the practice in the majority of SBC churches. This seems backward to me. Should Scripture determine the policies of SBC institutions? I think so. I can only think that the IMB has declared that the "perfect" has already come, since tongues have now "passed away." (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)

The second policy on baptism "establishes that candidates must have been baptized in a Southern Baptist church or in a church of another denomination that practices believer’s baptism by immersion alone. Also, the baptism must not be viewed as sacramental or regenerative, and the church must embrace the doctrine of the security of the believer." Now everything in this statement sounds good up until the last phrase. Sure, believers should be baptized by immersion. Baptism should not be viewed as sacramental or regenerative. But, when does the doctrine of the security of the believer, or lack thereof, become a factor in whether a believer's baptism is valid or not. There is no evidence in Scripture for this statement. I think that the statement arises from the idea that there must be a "proper administrator" to baptize someone, an idea also foreign from Scripture. Who can administer baptism to someone else? I believe the Scripture says that any believer can. Matthew 28:19-20 was not addressed to pastors or staff members, but to all believers. Therefore, the qualification to baptize someone is to be a believer. Can someone be a believer and not understand that they are secure in their salvation? Absolutely. My wife is a perfect example. She did not come to understand the security of her salvation until several months after she was saved. Can the members of a church teach that believers are not secure in their salvation and still be saved? Absolutely. Therefore, the baptism being administered is still valid, regardless of the poor teaching on the security of the believer. Now don't misunderstand me, I do believe that believers are secure in their salvation by the power of God. But, I do not think that it is essential to hold to this doctrine to be saved.

So why the change in the IMB? I do not understand why policies are being approved that have no grounding in Scripture. May God help us to always make His Word the foundation of everything we practice.

Who are you thankful to?

Last night at our prayer service Jeff T. brought up a great point. In light of the thanksgiving weekend, he asked us to think about who we are thankful to instead of what we are thankful for. Many unbelievers and believers miss this point about being thankful. They may be thankful for their health, job, family, money, or good food. But rarely do you hear someone speak of who they are thankful to. As believers, we have our heavenly Father to thank for the mercy and grace that He pours out on our lives everyday. As you speak to your Father today, make sure you let Him know that it is to Him that you are thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dead Sea Scrolls

I noticed in the newspaper this morning that the dead sea scrolls are coming to Charlotte, NC. Check out their website:

If anyone knows of any good books about the scrolls to read before going, please let me know.

Have a great day in the Lord!

Monday, November 21, 2005


Welcome to Sharing in the Life! I have been wanting a place, for some time now, not only to publish some of my ideas, but also to enter into dialogue with others on topics that interest me. What are those topics? Let me preface the answer to that question by sharing some of my life with you. First and foremost, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. The relationship that I have with Him is the most important relationship in my life. I am also the husband of a godly, loving woman who has been sharing life with me for 9 years. I also spend time working as an IT operations manager for a college. These are only a few aspects of my life, but I am sure you will come to know me better in the future.

Now, back to the original question. What are my interests? I am interested in almost any topic surrounding Christianity and the Bible. More specifically, I am interested in the church. I enjoy studying topics such as making disciples, church leadership, church meetings, church planting, and the Lord's Supper. Since I believe that church practice should arise out of a thorough study of and submission to the Bible, I am also interested in New Testament Greek, biblical interpretation, and am beginning to study textual criticism and discourse analysis. Finally, I am interested in delving further into the topics of the role of the church in the sanctification of the believer and the effect of the Lord's Supper on the unity and growth of the church.

One may ask why I have named the blog "Sharing in the Life." It is my desire not only to share in the life with God through Jesus Christ, but also to share that same life, as well as my own, with you. (1 John 1:1-3) I also desire for you to share your life with me. My hope is that this blog will be a place where we can converse over these topics already mentioned, as well as others as they arise. I want to keep the tone friendly and encouraging, yet, at the same time, challenge the presuppositions and opinions that we all have when we study the Scripture.

Again, welcome to "Sharing in the Life." I look forward to talking with you soon.