Mind of the Missionary
The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, The B-I-B-L-E. We have just passed through another great season of Vacation Bible Schools. In watching children learn about the truths of the Bible, lots of memories flooded my mind. Memories like the words of the little song above, the Scriptures I learned such as Psalms 23, Matthew 6:9:13, and I Corinthians 13. And the many crafts I proudly carried home to my parents. Thanks to all of you who worked in Bible School this summer.
Continuing the theme of core Baptist beliefs, the authority of the Bible is another one that fits in with soul competency and the priesthood of the believer, which I discussed last month, as a core belief of Baptist Christians. We are a Bible centered people. Any practice of our churches, any belief we proclaim, and any value we cherish has a biblical basis. Certainly, Baptists are not alone in this. Most denominations claim biblical authority for their faith and practice, but often some traditions, the teachings of revered leaders or founders, a specific method of interpretation, or claims of illumination by the Holy Spirit are added to the plain teachings of the Scriptures.
For many Baptists the over-riding principle for evaluating any belief or practice is how does it fit, or jibe, with the teachings and practices of Jesus? For example, back in the 1950s when some were finding biblical statements that they could use to support the tradition of racial segregation, other Baptists pointed out that Jesus focused on the principle of his followers loving their neighbors as they loved themselves. Segregation could not be made to jibe with this teaching of Jesus. Jesus practiced believer’s baptism by immersion, so, so do we. Jesus sought to do the will of God, so, so do we. Jesus was concerned with the spiritual and physical well-being of all people, the good and the bad, so, so do we. Jesus condemned the prideful attitudes of the economic, political, and religious elite, so, so do we.
As we begin another year in our Sunday Schools and as it is time for our children to begin preparing for the Bible Drill program in the Spring, let me urge teachers and parents to get involved. Study for and attend Sunday School. The reported average attendance in Sunday School in many of our churches is going down while their membership is going up. Honestly, this is not the picture of people who cherish and live by the Bible. Last year only Aliceville First had the Bible Drill program for children. Can you find a better activity for the children of Bible believers than memorizing Scripture? Real Baptists should insist that their children be involved in the Bible Drill Program. Ginger Lewis will give guidance to any of our churches on how to do this.
Every Sunday at 8 AM on 100.9 FM, you can listen to the adult Sunday School lesson discussed by a class of Bible scholars from our association. Our purposes are: to provide the lesson for shut-ins, to model good, honest Bible study, and to help teachers and students prepare for the lesson in their class that morning.
The more I read it, the more I love the Bible. For example, recently I heard Henry Trull preach on one of my heroes, Hezekiah. I noticed for the first time, apparently, a little comment in I Chronicles 29 regarding consecrating oneself and the church house and entering into covenant with God. God is a covenant making and covenant keeping God. Consecration is also serious stuff both for a person and for a congregation. We need to be about covenanting and consecrating. Being a Christian is a lot more than signing up, getting dipped and showing up for church services. It is a life of holiness, righteousness, and walking daily with God. It is a journey toward spiritual maturity. While the Bible becomes familiar to us, it always has more truth for us to find.
In an effort to improve the quality of teachings in our Sunday Schools, Reform businessman Pee Wee Sparks is making available copies of the Believer’s Bible Commentary to teachers. For Free. Contact Bro. Hershel Owen at 364-8457. It comes well recommended by many of our pastors. Let’s re-commit to being people of the Bible.
There will be a Regional Sunday School Training Event at Millport Baptist Church on Tuesday, August 6, from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM for Sunday School and Discipleship Training Leaders. SS leadership classes will be offered for directors, preschool, children, youth, and adult leaders. Only one class will be offered for DT leaders. This event is free, but you need to register by calling Millport Baptist Church pastor, Bro. David Honeycutt at 662-352-6708.
Emmanuel Baptist church will host a Regional WMU Training Event on Saturday, August 24, from 9 – 11 AM. This training is for all GA, Mission Friends, CIA, Acteen and WMU leadership who cannot attend training in Shocco. Cost is $10 per person and you need to register by calling the Alabama WMU office at 1-800-261-1225, ext. 325 or online at www.alabamawmu.org.
Pickens Association Evangelism Committee is sponsoring Clebe McClary, a decorated Vietnam veteran, who, along with his wife, will be speaking at First Baptist Church in Reform on Sunday night, August 25, at 6:00 PM. He lost his left arm and left eye, along with other injuries. You will be challenged and inspired as you hear him share about his love for God and country.
This year 14 churches in our association ordered their VBS supplies through our association. Our commission from Lifeway was $1,080.72 which funds our PBA Scholarship Fund. A big “Thank You’ to all the churches who helped provide scholarships by ordering through our PBA office!
The chapel was near capacity on Father’s Day! A wonderful sermon was brought by Bro. David Barrentine. The ladies have shared wonderful testimonies of how their loss of freedom became the occasion for their becoming “free indeed” and new ladies continue to join with us. The Lord’s Supper is always observed on the first Sunday of each month. Plans are for inmates to be at the main prison by the end of July and we hope to start services there at that time. These services will probably be at 6 PM while we continue services at the Camp at 2 PM. We will need pastors who do not have evening services to preach at this new service. Let Bro. Gary know if you can help!