I look forward to the day when this sinful world will be behind us and all tears will be wiped away and we will have joy in the presence of our Savior forever.
I also look forward earnestly to the day in Glory when there will be no divisions among God’s people and we will all be “straightened out” in every matter and there will be a oneness that is not possible in this present world.
Until that time, I have no greater desire than to see IB churches grow and prosper and return to their former strength and power, that we might win many souls for Jesus Christ while there is still opportunity, and that we might offer a bastion of holiness, purity and truth from the filth and pollutions of this world. That is exactly what this poor man found 38 years ago this coming summer when as a brand new believer the Lord clearly and plainly directed my feet to a little Independent Baptist church in Florida, where my Christian life was put on a good Bible foundation and my feet were set correctly in the paths of righteousness.
We have recently published a string of articles on issues related to the current influx of contemporary music into many independent Baptist churches and ministries. We are convinced that this is one of the ways that the world can pollute the church and stain its purity and that it is the road to end-times apostasy. In fact, we can see with our own eyes the many once-strong churches that have fallen already, and in every case the contemporary music has been at the very heart and soul of the change. That cannot be a coincidence.
Of necessity, I felt that we should be very specific about what is happening even to the point of naming the name of a pastor and an institution.
If I have offended people within various camps around the US and the world, that has not been my intention, and it grieves me that offense should come upon an IB preacher who is just trying to do right. However, I do see that there are great dangers afoot, and I have a passion to try to do something about it.
Music is one of the most powerful forces in the modern world. We would all do well to take notice of the ever-increasing foothold that worldly music is gaining in our churches. A wise pastor will do everything in his power to learn about the sound of it, the ways it is used, and the ways it can cripple his church.
I have been saying for years that it is far, far better to err on the side of being too “strict” in regard to music than not strict enough. It is not a time to erase boundaries and play footsie with CCM. There are too many real spiritual monsters on the other side of those sacred walls, waiting to devour the unwise.
Let me also say that I pray that the best years for Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College and for Paul Chappell’s ministry are ahead of them and that nothing will hinder the growth and usefulness of that ministry which has helped many of God’s people in so many ways. That is my heart's desire and fervent prayer.
Through this “battle” I have prayed for Pastor Chappell as fervently as any preacher I have ever prayed for. I realize that he probably considers me an enemy, and that is certainly understandable, but I have shed many bitter tears over this matter in general and over him in particular over the past two weeks. I hope he won’t consider me an enemy, and if he believes that I handled my warning wrong, that he will forgive me anyway and love me in Christ and seek to hear my heart and my passion and the essence of my warning.
I am not infallible; I’m just a weak man trying to do right. I am well aware that I will give account to the Lord for the use of my pen, and it often frightens me, as it should.
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