Who will pay for this?

Do compassionate Southern Baptists and other evangelicals who favor open borders and amnesty for illegals have no compassion for American citizens who are not working because they cannot compete with illegals who work for far less?

Who will pay for all this? American taxpayers – more and more of whom cannot find jobs? With loans from China? How long before the American dollar is no longer acceptable and our economy collapses under the strain of a debt we cannot pay?

Instead of forcing overburdened American taxpayers to pay for the breaking of our own laws, those who favor such lawlessness should themselves take care of the illegals – just as the Good Shepherd did – who are flooding our borders and will destroy our economy and our country. 

Gwen Carpenter


Conservative heritage

I was pleased to attend the recent SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) Annual Meeting in Baltimore. There were many encouraging reports, and President Fred Luter led the meeting with integrity and fairness. There were a couple of areas of concern. We were shown statistics demonstrating a 30-year decline in baptisms and other critical areas in our convention. I heard several men on the podium speak of a past conservative resurgence and return to inerrancy. 

I am thankful as an Arkansas Baptist we had no need for a conservative theological resurgence and we have always supported inerrancy. The same is true of the Foreign Mission Board (FMB) – now the International Mission Board (IMB) – where I served from 1978 to 2009. Our mission leaders and missionaries were theologically conservative and worthy of the support of our convention. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of many of the IMB trustees appointed by the leaders of the conservative political resurgence. I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1970s and 1980s under presidents (Robert E.) Naylor and (Russell H.) Dilday, when it was our largest seminary and was also solidly conservative theologically in the finest tradition of our convention.  

It may be that these men making reports or those they associated with or their schools were not theologically conservative and opposed inerrancy since they refer to that situation so often. If so, I only wish they could have been Arkansas Baptists or have attended Southwestern when I did or been associated the FMB/IMB and our missionaries. The 30-year decline in our convention seems to coincide almost exactly with their rise to power. I am glad to see signs of a return to our conservative theological foundation under the recent leadership or past SBC President Fred Luter and pray it continues under Ronnie Floyd. 

Ron West
Little Rock


Let’s stick to the basics

I am a 77-year-old who has been involved in church leadership for over 45 years and has watched the decline in making real disciples for several years. We sit around wringing our hands wondering why we can’t keep our young people after they get out on their own, why 6 million of us Southern Baptists don’t show up at worship services anymore, why we are so hesitant to confront people about their salvation, why there are no revivals anymore, why pastors are afraid to preach on the socials ills that confront us every day like adultery, abortion and homosexuality and why there is little teaching on the Holy Spirit anymore.

Pastors now believe you have to stand in the pulpits improperly dressed to connect with people. They are fulfilling the highest calling God bestows on man and then wonder why there is no respect for the Lord’s Church. The church property has been dedicated to God and is therefore holy, and yet we desecrate it by being disrespectful of it.

We have turned our worship time into some so-called modern worship that is so loud which is called “praise.” Jesus had a word about that in that we love to sit in His house and praise when the fields are empty. People keep telling me that the young people just won’t come if we don’t have the loud modern music, but I believe that is Satan’s lie straight out of hell. The Holy Spirit will draw them just as He drew me to Himself. 

What became of quiet reverence?

I pray that we will stop trying to think up some new program for worship when we have had the same one for so long that still works if we will just keep “telling the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”  

Don Jones


‘Evangelistic’ Sunday school

Thank you and Steve Wilkes for the article “What happened to ‘evangelistic’ Sunday school?” in the April 18, 2013,  edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. 

The decline in Sunday school attendance and the promotion of it has been a great concern of mine for some time.

I pray that there might be a great hunger for His Word. Then there will be revival.

Rosemary Looney


Baptists go by the Bible

Much has been said about the Calvinism controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention, but I have found little to explain or define it.

Baptists go by the Bible. Remember the words of Jesus, “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers” (Matt. 23:8, NASB). Again, Paul tells us, “Each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos.’ ... Has Christ been divided?” (1 Cor. 1:12-13, NASB). We Baptists should weigh any theologian directly against the Bible, agreeing only when it makes sense, and don’t swallow entire agendas by someone, especially the early reformers like (John) Calvin and (Huldrych) Zwingli, who could be all too grossly human. Vincent Price could have made a good drive-in horror movie about their antics and been entirely factual.

Some scholars like to pretend they know it all. Only God knows everything. Besides, John Calvin sure wasn’t the founder of the Baptist denomination! 

Stephan Allsup
Little Rock

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