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Everything posted by Annie

  1. P_Bear, I remember being in your situation 13 years ago and wondering the exact same thing. How I wanted to instill Scripture in my children from the earliest age! I used The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes--the one with realistic "painting-type" illustrations instead of the more cartoony ones in the current editions of that book. (Maybe you could find a used one at www.addall.com or something.) I would just sit with my babies and talk about the pictures..."This is Adam. This is Eve"...etc., and as they developed cognitively, I'd add things to the stories until finally I was reading the actual stories to them. I also played Scripture for them at night: two lovely CD's that are now out of circulation called "Psalms in the Night" and--ooh, I can't remember the name of the other one right now, but it was comprised of Scriptures that focused on the death and resurrection of Christ. The CD's played soft, "night-time" music in the background, and a male voice and female voice alternated reading the Scriptures. The CD's were actually put together by a mom and grandpa who had the same desire for their kids as we do for ours. Another thing I did was to make up my own cassette tapes for them to listen to during their "alone playtime." On the tape, I recited nursery rhymes, sang songs, and even had the kids sing along with me (they love hearing their own voices). I also included (more than once) a full passage of Scripture, like Psalm 1 or Psalm 23. I was surprised how soon the kids memorized what was on the tape. Their minds are like sponges! God bless you as you rear your child for him!
  2. I think you're defining at least the first issue correctly, Oldtimer. As a Christian--as someone who recognizes that God created (and is therefore the only one who can define the parameters of) the institution of marriage/family--I should be doing my best to help others toward being blessed by falling in line with that reality. Reality--the "way things really are"--transcends politics, society's opinions, etc. So, if I'm an estate planner, there's no way I'm going to encourage a "lifelong commitment" between sexual perverts, or encourage the adoption of children by said perverts. (IMO, a "lifelong commitment" is worse than an uncommitted homosexual relationship, because it shows that the participants are dead set on continuing in their perverted way of life, with little hope of repentance.) As far as the second issue goes, I think society (unanchored upon truth as it is) is going to do whatever it wants, no matter what Christians say. Homosexual marriage and adoption are going to be commonplace by the time my grandkids are adults. My point is that my job as a Christian--as salt and light--is not to capitulate to the anti-biblical way of thinking and accept the radical redefinitions of marriage/family of a godless society.
  3. kob, would you say that this "arrangement" is indeed a "family?" If so, on what basis do you allow yourself to define "family" in this way...or I guess I could ask what justification you have for calling this a "family." Who gets to define "family?" That's what it comes down to. Those of us who believe that God created the "family" (male and female; man, wife, children, grandpa, grandma, extended, etc.) to glorify Himself through their proper and natural relationships--to reflect Christ and the Church--understand that we do not nor ever will have the prerogative to redefine "family," since we had nothing to do with its creation. If you decide to adopt a new definition of "family," you're overstepping your bounds; you are a rogue acting radically outside your rights. (I just proofread a PhD student's paper on this very subject (theology of family); there's no way anyone in the world can say that God's definition and descriptions of "family"--or His intentions for "family"--are at all ambiguous or flexible...especially when it comes to sexual perversion!) I'm not blowing off any extenuating circumstances...I understand things aren't always ideal (and I noticed you haven't addressed my previous post in that regard). However, redefining "family" to suit somebody's "emotional bonds" or "lifelong (perverted sexual) commitment" still isn't our prerogative. Children should not be raised by perverts; nor should they be instructed that such a way of life is "normal," as that only perpetuates more perversion, which eventually rips apart the fabric of any society. I'm afraid your tunnel vision is preventing you from seeing the big picture.
  4. I mean the art form. If the material is "serious" and weighty and important...and true (as opposed to flippant, fun, and fiction), shouldn't the form in which it is presented reflect that? Form does shape content; the viewer/reader's idea of the content is affected by the form in which it is presented. That's why it's demeaning to make a statue of Jesus out of, say, chocolate or Legos or an inflatable pool toy. It's why we wouldn't put the words of the great hymns (and other "true" songs) to a carpet cleaner jingle or the tune of a soft drink commercial. It's why "CCM" is out as a vehicle to worship our holy God and describe what He is like. It's why we don't use urban graffiti or tattoos to share the gospel. These presentation styles are vulgar and common. "Pop culture" with all of its bling and faddishness and sensationalism has nothing in common with the ideas of the Bible, so why use "pop art" to depict Bible stories or followers of Jesus? Those "lower," "cutesy" art forms are fine for content which matches their essence (with the exception of fleshly music): fun, frivolous, comical, droll, kitschy, etc....but they're not appropriate to convey messages which are truly beautiful and weighty with truth. The Hebrew word for "glory" (as in God's glory) is kavod. It's a derivitive of the word for "heavy." God's glory is "heavy," weighty...not something that is trifling, cute, sparkly, entertaining, sensational, faddish, or super-hero-ish. These qualities are the opposite of "heavy"; they're quite "light and frothy"--empty of real substance and value, and therefore quickly passing. Someone who is seeking to illustrate God's glory (His Word is part of that glory) shouldn't use art forms of this nature to do so.
  5. I'm not questioning the existence of people who don't follow God's plan for the family...who seek to redefine "family" to mean whatever they want it to mean. Nor am I questioning God's love for them (in the sense that He loves the world enough to die for them). How we as Christians relate to these people is indeed important...I agree with you there, too. I'm not sure what your role is in the situation...Can you really "tell the couple to split"? If so, on what grounds, from their perspective? I'd have to know more about how you fit into the situation to have an opinion on what you should do. I don't think (from a biblical/moral, psychological, emotional, practical, or any other standpoint) that it is healthy, natural, or desirable for children to grow up with two parents of the same sex. Both boys and girls need a dad and a mom. That's ideal, of course...I'm not naive enough to think that that is how every family can be...There is death, and divorce, and single motherhood--all results of either direct sin or the curse that is on the earth because of sin. However, I believe it is much better for a child to grow up with a single parent--feeling the void that he should naturally feel due to the absence of the parent of the other gender--than to grow up nurtured by someone of perverse sexual desires and habits. In the first scenario, at least he gets some sort of idea (albeit only because he experiences the incompleteness) of what a proper family is. In the latter, he gets a completely false idea of what a family is...made all the more insidious because of the fact that he "feels" loved and nurtured by "two parents." Is it better to be raised by wolves (to learn wolfish habits) in a nice, cozy den than it is to be raised by mountain goats (to learn their toughness and hardiness) in the less-than-ideal environment of rocky hillsides and exposed mesas? (Stupid analogy? Maybe. But hopefully it makes my point, especially when you consider the two kinds of animals as symbols.) Why wouldn't the legal issues encountered by two homosexual persons be the same as, say the legal issues encountered by two non-homosexuals who own anything together? I have two single friends who have lived together as housemates for years. Now, one of them is moving away due to a job change. They've bought a lot of things together...furniture, pets, etc. So, now who gets Fluffy and who gets Sammy? Who gets the couch and who gets the Keurig? They have to work it out just like anyone else would...and if any disputes arise, they can (hopefully) be settled by a mediator like a pastor, or in court if need be. Haven't these kinds of things been going on long before homosexuality became accepted in our society? Sure they have. We don't need "civil unions" between homosexuals any more than we need "civil unions" between siblings, parents and children, business partners, roommates, friends/acquaintances who invest/share things together or any other "partnership" which has the potential of running into a dispute rising out of a disagreement of "who owns what" when there is a parting of ways. Unfortunately, children have the potential to become victims whenever sexual sin is involved. It's one of the things people who are bent on satisfying their lusts often don't even stop to consider. In certain cases, they build very real and strong emotional bonds that they have no business building with children, and it's tragic how this selfish behavior hurts the kids in the long run. I've already addressed this, I think. It should be different for homosexuals because they are living in abomination to God. What they have is not a "family," but a gross aberration. It is not beneficial for any child to grow up with two mommies or two daddies. If anything, it only perpetuates the acceptance of sexual abnormality in society.
  6. From a biblical perspective, this is not a "couple" or a "family." The Bible is clear that homosexuality is unnatural and indicative of a depraved society (Romans 1). The Bible is also clear that "marriage" means a man and a woman (precedent established by God in creation, and echoed throughout Scripture as well as nature). Certainly, there were examples of polygamous heterosexual marriages in ancient Near Eastern cultures (which generally brought nothing but familial strife), but never once is same-sex "marriage" condoned or even mentioned, for that matter. All references to sexual relationships between same-gender persons are negative--it's not even ambiguous. All NT references to marriage/family assume one man with one woman, along with their children. There is no other option. All directives to married couples/families are to "wife," "husband," and "child(ren)." Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church: the head of the woman is the man, just as Christ is the head of the Church; the wife submits to the husband as the Church submits to Christ, and the husband loves the wife as Christ loves the Church. It's so clearly laid out; how anyone can miss it is beyond me. The Greek words for man, woman, husband, and wife are nonambiguous. What you're really saying here, although you're supposedly asking for "the biblical perspective," is that there is a difference between what is going on in your mind and what the Bible really says. I cannot for the life of me understand why any Christian (or at least any Christian who is at all familiar with Scripture) could entertain even for one second the possibility that a homosexual relationship constitutes "marriage" or a legitimate "couple" or a "family." It's just ludicrous; I don't get it. I'm not meaning to be offensive, but it's just sad to see how the status quo of our culture has affected some Christians...how they so easily establish a new norm in their minds, not because of anything Scripture says, but merely because of changes in our culture. Culture becomes the standard instead of the Bible. Thoughtful discernment is thrown to the wind.
  7. I didn't vote, because I wouldn't encourage a child to read a Christian comic book series. IMO, the art form demeans the content.
  8. I think it's great that you're considering homeschooling your child. You have five or six years to research, gather information, supplies, and equipment, and evaluate the style that will work best for you and your child. Since a lot can change over that period of time, I probably wouldn't spend a whole lot of time obsessing over curriculum choices yet (especially since most curricula upgrade/update fairly regulary, and you don't want to be stuck with out-of-date editions or programs that won't be around--or compatible with your new-fangled technology--in five or six years). Something you might want to think about is the approach to education you'd like to take. For us, that process started by us prayerfully making up a list of qualities (physical, spiritual, social, academic, etc.) that we wanted our children to develop by the time they leave our home. (We listed applicable Scripture next to each quality.) That list started us thinking about h/s-ing methods...do we want to sit our kids down in front of a video/DVD to learn? Do we want them to study U.S. history every year? How can we best teach them to be "big picture," critical thinkers? Which is better: the rigorous, rote-memory approach of ABeka or the more conceptual approach of BJU Press? (We use neither of those curricula, but have chosen one that seems to incorporate the best of both approaches.) What methods and curricula fit our purposes, personalities, schedules, budget, and lifestyle best? The best education isn't "cookie cutter;" it is customized to the bent, learning styles, and needs of each child. That's one of the reasons we chose h/s-ing in the first place. We love it! (Okay, by this time of year it's getting old, but we still love it! ) May God guide you as you seek to be the best daddy you can be to your new precious wee one!
  9. I agree that studying out the text issues does take time. To whom are you referring when you say "earliest fundamentalists"? I'm not aware that fundamentalists as a group "decried" the modern versions at any time.
  10. They aren't. It's a misconception that all Independent Baptists are KJVO. I'm an Independent Baptist, and I am not KJVO. Neither are literally thousands of other IB's that I am aware of. The KJVO position is relatively new...It was not part of historic fundamentalism.
  11. You might want to do some more reading on this. "Elders" is just a general term which seems to refer to "older, respected men" in the church, some of whom might be serving as pastors/bishops, deacons, or whatever else. Let me try to clarify. There is a difference in purpose between the gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the epistles (or letters) from Paul to the early churches. The purpose of the gospels is to reveal the Messiah--his history, his miracles, his death, resurrection, etc. The purpose of the Acts is to narrate events that happened in relation to the birth and growth of the Church after Christ returned to heaven, and to detail the apostles' part in those events. The epistles, or letters to individual churches and pastors, detail specific admonitions relating to how "life in the church" should look, and how "life in the home" should look. If I am wondering where to look in order to find out how God wants his church to be organized and led, I'm not going to look in the gospels, or the Old Testament prophets, or in the Hebrew history books. I'm going to look in the epistles, which actually address the subject in detail. In these epistles, it is stated in no uncertain terms that the woman's role in the local church is not a teaching role, but a learning, supporting, serving role, except when it comes to children and other women. It's not obscure or hard to understand; it's right there in black and white. And nothing else in all of Scripture, Old or New Testament, contradicts this teaching, or even gives me a reason to look deeper into the issue. Yes, the community knows the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3 and other places. No, I believe I said that the nominees may choose to remove their names from consideration. What I mean by that is this: Let's say that a man gets nominated, and he does not think that God is calling him to be a pastor. He would then remove his name from the list of possible candidates. Hope that clears it up for you. No, just that a spirit of unity characterizes the whole process. People aren't "lobbying" for their choice, and candidates aren't "running" like a politician would. A body of believers can be unified in spirit yet not agree 100% on everything. An essential quality of that unity is allowing others the freedom to disagree, just as I want others to give me that freedom. I'm not sure what percentage of a church has to agree in the vote for a new pastor....It is probably different for every church. In the church I now attend, the vote was actually unanimous when it came to appointing the pastor we now have. He is much loved by everyone. I am merely sharing what Baptists believe on a discussion board. This conversation is not within the context of a local body of believers. We are sharing things together on a casual level as we interact...You are both informing me about some things and learning from my perspective, and I am both learning from and informing you. No one person is "the teacher," and no one person is "the learner." This interaction is completely different than what Paul is describing in his pastoral epistles. Yes, because this is the way he has designed the process to work (as described in the epistles). Not in any Baptist church of which I've been a member. Undoubtedly, this has happened before. In that case, there are measures taken (written in the church consitution after the pattern described in Scripture) to remove the man from the pastorate after it is clear to everyone that the man doesn't meet the correct qualifications. There was once a situation (when I was a member of a Nazarene congregation) when the pastor disqualified himself from ministry by not meeting the qualifications laid out in Scripture. Our congregation sorrowfully removed him when he would not repent.
  12. I'm sorry...I don't mean to pile on, but I must have missed this question before. No one is suggesting that a woman cannot teach her children, especially since Scripture says just the opposite. Her role within the home is a teaching role. But her role in the context of the local assembly of believers is a supportive, serving role, not a teaching role. The authority for teaching is not based on superior cognitive ability or surpassing knowledge. It's based on Scripture alone. God has given the authority to teach in the church to men. It's not a matter of anyone being "superior," but of everyone living out their God-given roles in the church and home. Here is a scenario to (maybe) help you understand...Let's say that I'm the vice president of XYZ corporation, and that several department heads in that corporation report to me and are responsible to follow the directives I send their way. I am "under" the president and "over" everyone else. Would I, the vice president of XYZ corporation, with all of my knowledge, administrative skills, and winning personality, be received very well if one day I decided to start giving directives to the local McDonald's fast food restaurant employees, and expected all of those employees to start reporting to me when those directives were carried out? No, because that's not my role at McDonald's. My role at McDonald's is "customer." Different place, different role. My roles at home are "wife" and "mother." My roles at church are "learner" and "servant" when it comes to the general assembly and "teacher" when it comes to children and the "younger women" (Titus 2).
  13. Which moral issues have I said that Baptists do not agree on? So, what you are saying is that you have confidence that you will spend eternity in heaven with God someday...that you do not dread his wrath. We all struggle with sin as long as we are on earth. But that sin has already been paid for. We do not have to pay for it; we will not be punished for it, because Christ took all that punishment on himself. He experienced God's wrath so that we do not have to do so. If you read this verse in context of the whole chapter (really, of the whole letter), you will see what I am talking about. Again, read this admonition in context of the whole of Scripture, Daniel. It is obvious that no one can obey God perfectly. If this was all we had to go on, we'd all be miserably doomed. Christ lived a sinless life on our behalf, and then died for our lawlessness, making it possible for sinners to enter his kingdom. I know we agree on this point. Anyway, Christ's point here is merely that those who follow him "with their lips" and not with their heart are not really his children. If we love him, we will want to obey him. Will we do so perfectly? Not a chance of it. But our transgressions are done away with by his sacrifice. Did you read verse 11? It looks like you are just pulling verses right out of their proper context and using them to prove a point. I grew up in a family which did that (we believed that we could lose our salvation, and would pull out isolated verses to "prove it"). It is only when I began to view Scripture as a unified whole that I got past this sort of dabbling and doubting. Daniel, I have enjoyed our interaction; thanks for the discussion. But I do need to step away from the computer and get some things done now. I hope you find what you are looking for here. My biggest desire for you is that you will have peace in your heart, and that you will trust in the finished work of Christ for eternal salvation, not depending on yourself but in faith believing that your sins, past, present, and future, have been taken care of by Christ's finished work on the cross.
  14. No, perhaps I need to clarify. We did not drop it exclusively for that reason. The terms "bishop" and "pastor" seem to be used interchangeably in Scripture (and in early church history...in Eusebius, for example). The roles of the "bishop" and "pastor" are the same: to oversee and shepherd their local churches. Over time, the term "pastor" became commonly used in certain Protestant circles, and the term "bishop" was retained by the Roman Catholics and Protestant churches which borrow heavily from Catholic tradition. I merely commented (or meant to, anyway) that the term "pastor" is useful for identifying Baptists (as well as other denominations) as different than those churches. Have you read anything about the early church understanding of elders? Have you read any of Eusebius or Bede? What is the idea you get when you see the term in Scripture, and read it in context with other Scriptures? No. There are clearly two meanings of the word "church" in Scripture: 1: a local gathering of believers (not just Baptists) and 2: all believers around the world who belong to Christ (his "Church") The instructions to Timothy and Titus (two pastors) as well as the instructions to the churches at Corinth, Ephesus, etc., are obviously for their local assemblies...how they should be governed, the kinds of people who qualify for leadership, what the roles of women are to be in those assemblies. These passages are not addressing the "church in general," but local assemblies which meet regularly to observe the Lord's Day, Lord's Table, etc. So, these are the patterns given in Scripture for how a local body of believers is to be governed, shepherded, etc. (Of course, there are references to the "general church" in these epistles as well, but the guidelines for deacons, pastors, etc., are obviously for local bodies.) I'm sure it happens differently in every church when it comes down to details, since the details aren’t really spelled out in Scripture. This process is happening right now in the church in which I grew up. I'll try to describe it for you. A pulpit committee is formed by the congregation for the purpose of dedicating themselves to looking for a new pastor. Any member of the congregation may submit nominations (from among the local church group, or from outside the group) to the pulpit committee. Also, the committee makes contact with various sources (like universities, other churches, etc.) to see if there is anyone who is looking for a pastorate that might be a good fit for this congregation. All nominations are vetted...That is, the pulpit committee searches out references for each name, conducts interviews, looks into the men’s backgrounds, etc. During this time, some nominees may choose to remove their names. At this point (at the church I referenced), there are three men whose names remain in nomination. The pulpit committee is getting ready to announce their findings to the congregation and continue the process of determining who would best fit the office of pastor. These proceedings occur slowly, carefully, and with unity in the church body. I would imagine I mean the same thing when I say “teaching” as you do when you use the word. In Scripture, in the local church context, “teaching” means formally instructing the assembled body of believers in the word. The Bible says that a woman is not to teach in this context, but is to sit in silence. Is it not always good to affirm what God has affirmed? God has clearly laid out the pattern for church governance; his authority, not man’s, is behind that pattern. (Maybe I don't understand your question here.)
  15. Actually, the "bishopry" does exist in the Baptist church. The title we have for it is "pastor," which helps people to avoid confusion of this role with the modern "bishop" of the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox/Anglican churches. Baptist church polity is as follows. The church is led/shepherded by the pastor (what the KJV calls the bishop). His role is to preach and teach and to care for his flock. He is assisted in some cases by a pastoral staff, which, depending on the size of the church, might be full-time, paid positions or simply laymen who assist the pastor in assigned areas, such as hospital visits, leading a youth group, etc. Also assisting the pastor and congregation are deacons, which are elected by the congregation for terms of determined length. Baptists consider the biblical term "elders" to be roughly synonymous with these kinds of older, experienced men in the church who assist with its oversight. All of these positions, including the senior pastor, are determined by the congregation. For example, when a church is without a pastor for some reason, a "pulpit committee" is formed from members of the congregation to seek out a new pastor. Names are gathered and sorted, various men are considered, and eventually the entire congregation votes to install or not install a candidate. This is how it works in an independent Baptist church; perhaps in a church affiliated with a Baptist denomination it may look a little different. But generally, Baptist churches are self-governing, in that they choose their own leaders, after the pattern of the early, New Testament churches. The pastor's authority to preach, teach, and shepherd the flock comes from God himself, and is affirmed by the congregation. Some Baptist churches do have deaconesses, or unmarried female assistants to deacons. If you study the meaning of the term "deacon," you will realize that this is not a teaching role, but a serving role. There is no biblical prohibition for women to serve in their churches. (To my knowledge, the term "deaconess" does not appear in Scripture; correct me if I am wrong. I am not KJVO.) Yes, we all had mothers who taught us. But we are talking of roles in the church, not in the family. God in his grace has said much about both, and it seems very clear in Scripture that women are not to teach men in the church. Again, application of this principle will vary. (At what age does one become a "man"? etc.)
  16. Ah, so your name is Daniel...That's my dad's name, and my son's middle name. It is indeed a sobering thought to consider that "God is my judge." In answer to your question about aestheics and morality, I would say that no Baptist church of which I am aware would condone homosexuality at all. (Perhaps some of the more liberal mainline churches would--I'm not sure about that.) On matters of morality, Baptist churches are pretty much in agreement. From what I can tell, most Baptist denominations are fairly conservative on these issues. Daniel, I do not shrug off sin at all...Sin is an awful, weighty thing that cost my Savior his very life! But I do not live in dread of God's wrath; that would be denying the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice. It would be declaring his work on the cross ineffective to save me. It would be a form of pride to say that my sins are too great or too many for Christ to forgive. It would be embracing a "works-based" salvation to say that it is up to me to keep my heart continually clean before God in order to have eternal life. I can't do that. You can't do that. But Christ not only can do it; he did do it. It is done. It is finished. We do not have to live in fear. I John 5:13 says that we can know we have eternal life, not just hope we have eternal life. I do agree with you about repenting. God's Holy Spirit who indwells all believers in Christ is gracious to draw us to repentance. We must continually be "changing our minds" about our sin, seeing it as God sees it, and confessing it to our forgiving Lord. However, we must also realize that Christ's sacrifice on the cross took care of those sins once for all those who have accepted that sacrifice by faith. As God the Father's children through Christ's atonement, we are not ever in danger of experiencing his eternal wrath.
  17. dskysmine, you are asking some good questions. Because Scripture so clearly prohibits women from holding the pastor/shepherd role within a local church, I believe that women should not seek those kinds of leadership positions. Does that mean that your girlfriend's master's in theolgy is useless? Not at all! If you read Titus 2, you will see how useful women can be in teaching and counseling other women. I have a ministry like that, and it is very fulfilling to serve within the role God has graciously given me. Here are some Scriptures which deal with your question: Genesis 2: The woman was clearly created to help the man, not the other way round. Ephesians 5: The hierarchy is clearly spelled out here: the man/husband is head of the woman, and Christ is the head of the man, and God the Father is the head of Christ. I Timothy 2: A woman is not to teach in church, but to remain in silence during the teaching time. If you read carefully through the New Testament, you'll begin to see the theme developing along these lines; these passages are just scratching the surface of the issue. Titus 2: A woman is commanded to teach and mentor other women in the church.
  18. So, John, you do not agree that two different Christians, both acting prayerfully and in good conscience, will ever apply a Scriptural principle differently from one another? You believe that every action is spelled out in Scripture? You believe that when two Christians honestly disagree on a matter of application, at least one of them is living in disobedience to God?
  19. No, I think you understand. I'm not putting morality on a "spectrum." I am saying that morality is clearly defined in Scripture, and that, depending on one's culture, or one's background, one Christian might apply that morality differently than another. Let me encourage you with just one more thought, if I may. (This thought is in response to something you wrote earlier.) When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He paid for them in full, all at once. When we believe in him for salvation, we are accepting His grace, which is a free gift. We do not have to work for our salvation; Jesus finished the work on the cross when He paid for all of our sins. Our sins are forgiven, and cannot keep us away from God ever again. When we do sin, we are disappointed in ourselves, confess our sins, and claim God's forgiveness for those sins through Christ, but when God looks at us, He sees only Christ's righteousness which has been imputed to us. He does not see our sin as something that separates us from Him. This thought is so encouraging to me every day. I don't have to live in fear of what God thinks about me; His mercy and grace have taken care of my sin. I can live joyfully and confidently, knowing for sure that I will one day go to live with Him in heaven because of Christ's finished work on the cross.
  20. The spectrum of which I am speaking has to do with differences in application of the Truth, not disagreement about Truth itself. Truth comes from God--God IS Truth--and God has revealed Himself to men in his word, the Bible. All stripes of every kind of Baptist, both mainline and independent, believe this. The Bible transcends time and culture. It is full of general principles as well as specific commands; it doesn't "spell out" every single response to every single issue in every single culture. It is up to the reader to apply the principles from the Bible to his own particular situation in time and space and culture. For example, the Bible says that Christian women should dress "modestly." Different people in various times and cultures have applied that principle differently, while still obeying it. God has given us his Spirit to guide us into wisdom and discernment in these areas. So, yes, there is Truth which has been revealed to us, and we agree about what that Truth is, but we might differ in our applications of that Truth in our own lives. For example, some ladies might think that wearing slacks/pants is immodest because too much of the female form is revealed; so, they would think of pants as "immodest" clothing. (This was certainly true of most women around the world before the 20th century.) Others disagree; they do not believe that, given our culture today, pants are immodest on women. So, they would wear pants. Women on both sides of the issue are taking the principle given by Truth (that women should be modest) and using their best judgment to decide how to apply it. Both sets of women are obeying Scripture the best they know how. Make sense?
  21. John, did you ever take a look at the links? What do you think of those sports programs? (As I said, I don't know anything about them other than the uniforms.) Joel, do you have any feedback?
  22. John, it's happening again. I'm amazed how political candidates and their followers can sweepingly redefine perfectly clear English words--just like that. America is not, has never been, nor ever will be an empire (unless her government and foreign policy is radically restructured). em·pire    /ˈɛmpaɪər; for 8–10 also ɒmˈpɪər/ Show Spelled noun 1. a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government: usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom, as the former British Empire, French Empire, Russian Empire, Byzantine Empire, or Roman Empire. 2. a government under an emperor or empress. 3. ( often initial capital letter ) the historical period during which a nation is under such a government: a history of the second French empire. 4. supreme power in governing; imperial power; sovereignty: Austria's failure of empire in central Europe. 5.supreme control; absolute sway: passion's empire over the mind. And it appears that's gonna happen no matter who takes office. Comparing America to Rome (as an empire) is ludicrous. (See definition above.) Agreed. And having a Ron Paul in the White House isn't going to change any of this.
  23. My last baby was 11 pounds at birth, and I thought that was big! Poor mommy.
  24. I'm not sure what you mean by "leaving half the comment"...can you explain? Perhaps you speak for a majority here on this board (a certain stripe of IB), but you certainly don't speak for a majority of independent Baptists, let alone Baptists in general. (Please understand that I'm not trying to start a debate; I'm just interested in answering dskysmine's questions as accurately as possible.)
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