Thursday
Apr182013

‘Defining time’ in America

I hope everyone is praying for our statesmen and our judges in this defining time of America. We need not confuse morality with religion – many world religions and cultures retain morals, and many atheists and agnostics use common sense and logic in their ethics. Religious freedom is not freedom from morality and ethics in our laws. John Adams said in a speech to the military in 1798 that there is “no government armed with power of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. ... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” When we do not speak out common sense on morals, we risk not only losing the nation we all love and cherish, but we are a terrible example to the world. For America to embrace sexual perversions is all the excuse a legalistic cult religion, that controls many peoples and nations, needs to reject instantly both American democracy and the prominent faith associated with it, Christianity, as being unfit to survive. America does not have to embrace degeneracy. That will kill us.  

Stephan Allsup
Little Rock

Thursday
Mar212013

Same-sex marriage

Having finished my copy of the Arkansas Baptist News, I found I had to write my opinion on same-sex marriage.

I know when another country such as Great Britain adds an OK to “gay” marriage, it’s just another nail in our coffin (ABN Digest, Feb. 21, 2013, “Great Britain set to legalize gay marriage”). But my King James Bible, of which I have several, that I have read over and over for 79 years, says in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that (in a nutshell) God didn’t say marriage is between man and man or woman and woman. When someone can show me where God says He condones same-sex marriage, I will apologize, but not until I find where God says it’s OK.

Peggy Wolfe
Pangburn

Thursday
Mar072013

Guns and Scripture

Reading “Churches left to decide rules for concealed guns” (ABN Feb. 21, 2013), I was greatly concerned, not because of what the article contained, but because of what was missing from the printed record. Positions of three Arkansas pastors concerning Act 67 were reported, along with the rationale leading to those conclusions. Reasoning included political theory, cultural concerns and security logistics, but unfortunately, nowhere did we hear how the Word of God should inform our opinion.

“And he said to them, ‘When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘Nothing.’ He said to them, ‘But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one’” (Luke 22:35-36, ESV).

Upon His departure, our Lord directed His disciples what provisions they would need, and while not an exhaustive list, contained therein is a sword. Before we allow sound exegesis to flee in the support of our opinions, I would point out that Jesus is speaking of an actual sword, not the Sword of the Spirit, for the Spirit cannot be purchased for the price of one’s cloak. Now, if Christ commands us to take a moneybag, we would do well to take its modern equivalent, the wallet, and if a knapsack, a suitcase. Likewise, when Christ commands His own to take a sword, it would not be the first century weapon we reach for, but its 21st century functional equivalent, the firearm.

Gentlemen, we must cease to rely on worldly wisdom, whether or not it springs from a “Christian worldview,” and return to the authority of Scripture! Doing so will yield stronger individuals, families, churches and indeed a stronger convention.

Brian C. Williams
Hackett

Thursday
Feb212013

Top 10 list?

I have been a Christian for almost 28 years. I enjoy and appreciate Arkansas Baptist News, but words can’t express the sorrow I felt after reading the front page of Volume 112, Number 1. Of the 2012 top 10 stories chosen by ABN staff, “100 saved” came in dead last, while No. 1 goes to “Tucker elected.” Really?     

Jesus said that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Have we forgotten that? I’m sure there was more joy in heaven over the 100 saved than someone being elected. I’m not even 40 years old yet, and even I can remember a time when seeing souls saved was the most important thing there was. Now I don’t know.         

Am I jumping to conclusions? Or maybe I just don’t have the facts or I just don’t understand. Here is a fact: Lost souls came in dead last! Not five or even seven, but last. There will be some explaining to be done at the judgment seat of Christ over this one, and I am praying that God in wrath will remember mercy (Hab. 3:2). I don’t know if all this is “for publication” or not; doesn’t matter. What matters is that this article was a stark reminder of the direction we are headed in. Nothing but nothing should come ahead of lost souls. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 

Kevin McDaniel 
Crossett

Editor’s Note: Articles for the annual ABN “top 10” list are judged based on overall impact to Arkansas Baptists and their work in the state, and saving souls should be (and I pray is) our No. 1 priority. That being said, we had other specific “salvation” articles that didn’t make the list, such as the hundreds of people saved in Haiti as a result of the work of Arkansas Baptists and the dozens saved during revivals on various Arkansas college campuses throughout the year. In fact, every article could have been about folks being saved across Arkansas in churches, large events, small events, etc. The top 10 list is designed to be more of a collective snapshot of the year. Regarding the “100 saved” article that made the list, I believe the staff chose this event because it illustrates the collective work – that of sharing Jesus Christ – that Arkansas Baptists do every day. I appreciate your passion for Jesus! It is the same passion the staff of the ABN shares as we seek to make Jesus Christ known in Arkansas and around the world.

Friday
Feb152013

BP article distorts facts

The Jan. 24 issue of the ABN Now online edition contained a Baptist Press article by Tom Strode with statements by Richard Land and Jerry Sutton linking the Southern Baptist stance on the abortion issue to the Conservative Resurgence and indicated those who opposed the political actions of the Resurgence were pro-abortion. Many relevant facts were not stated and other statements presented as facts were not true.

It was stated that at the 1971 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Foy Valentine of the Christian Life Commission supported a resolution that would permit abortion in rare cases. Land stated this was proof that “those Southern Baptists who disagreed with the effort to reform the convention’s institutions” were “mostly pro-choice themselves.” But leaders of the Conservative Resurgence were taking an even more pro-abortion position at that time. W.A. Criswell has been acknowledged as the spiritual and inspirational leader of the Conservative Resurgence. In 1973, shortly after Roe vs. Wade, Criswell stated, “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.” Other Conservative Resurgence leaders were making similar statements. By using the “guilt by association” methods of Strode and Land, you could say the Conservative Resurgence was more pro-abortion than those opposed to the Resurgence, but that would be as misleading as Land’s attempt to paint those of us who oppose the political methods of the Conservative Resurgence as pro-choice.

Strode’s article has presented a distorted image of the Southern Baptist stance on abortion. Like others who are committed to inerrancy and opposed to the political Resurgence, I rejoice in our denomination’s support for the pro-life movement. We should work together for this cause instead of making false accusations against some or giving undeserved credit to others.

Ron West
Booneville

Editor's Note: The article referenced in this letter did not appear in the ABN print edition. It was published in the ABN Now digital edition and online on the ABN website. To read the article click here.