SOUTHERN BAPTIST PRESIDENT SAYS WE CAN’T “PUT GOD IN A BOX” (Friday Church News Notes, January 11, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - In a video interview with The Gospel Coalition, J.D. Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), said that God can still speak audibly to believers today and is not limited to speaking through Scripture (“Southern Baptist President,” BreakingChristianNews.com, Jan. 4, 2019). Greear said “he would never place God in a box about what He could do today.” This has been the Pentecostal position from its inception. “Don’t put God in a box” has always meant that God can do all sorts of things that we don’t see in Scripture, such as knock people down, glue them to the floor, cause them to speak gibberish, laugh hysterically, shake, jerk, roar like lions, bray like donkeys, and stagger like drunks. “Don’t put God in a box” has always been the theme song of those who refuse to be bound by Scripture. Former Pentecostal Hughie Seaborn comments as follows: “The SBC will be thoroughly Pentecostal before too long. God can do whatever He pleases, but He won’t contradict His Word, and His Word tells us in Hebrews 1:1-2 that, ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets [who received dreams, visions and audible voices], Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son [through that which is perfect, the written Word of God].’ Dreams, visions and audible voices are subjective and fraught with dangerous deception. How can we know for sure who is speaking to us, even if what is received agrees with the Bible? The devil speaks a lot of truth, but it always has an agenda. The written Word of God is the only safety we have in these perilous last days. J.D. Greear is a dangerous man. When they say they ‘would never place God in a box about what He could do today,’ they are actually saying that they don’t want God to ‘put them in a box.’ That’s the real issue that I’ve found with them. It’s not, ‘Don’t tell me what God can and can’t do,’ but rather, ‘Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.’ They don’t like the restrictions that Scripture places on them.”
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS AND CHARISMATICISM (Friday Church News Notes, January 11, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The charismatic movement has been spreading through the Southern Baptist Convention since the late 1980s and the pace is increasing with each decade. In April 1995, Charisma magazine reported that two professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (William Hendricks and Tim Webber) urged churches not to fear the charismatic movement. Hendricks, director of Southern’s doctoral studies, said, “We shouldn’t feel defensive or threatened by an alternative experience, perspective or insights about the Holy Spirit,” and warned that in fighting the charismatic movement “you could be fighting what is a legitimate experience of the Spirit.” In March 1999, a Charisma magazine report entitled “Shaking Southern Baptist Tradition” gave many examples of charismatic Southern Baptist congregations. At that time, Southern Baptist pastors Jack Taylor, Ron Phillips, and Gary Folds, embraced the unscriptural nonsense that occurred at the Toronto Airport Church in Ontario and Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. This “revival” took the form of gibberish speakings, uncontrollable laughter, falling on the floor, rolling on the floor, barking like a dog, roaring like a lion, braying like a donkey, electric shocks, shakings, jerkings, and other bizarre experiences with no biblical support. Since then, Ron Phillips’ Fresh Oil & Wine Conferences at Central Baptist Church of Hixon, Tennessee, have promoted charismatic heresies. One of the speakers was Rodney Howard-Browne, the so-called “Holy Ghost Bartender.” Southern Baptist Pastor Dwain Miller of Second Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas, prophesied that God would use Phillips “to bring renewal to the SBC’s 41,000 churches.” Phillips told the Tennessean newspaper that he first experienced speaking in tongues when he was sleeping! In 2008, Phillips counted 500 churches in his charismatic network (“Charismatic Southern Baptist Churches,” Baptist Standard, Oct. 30, 2008). James Robison, once a fiery Southern Baptist evangelist who preached against the theological liberalism of its schools and the worldliness of its churches, had a charismatic experience in 1979 and became a charismatic ecumenist who joins hands in fellowship and ministry with “Spirit baptized” Roman Catholics and praises Pope John Paul II as “one of the finest representatives of morality in this earth.” Bill Sharples resigned a Southern Baptist pastorate after accepting the tongues-speaking movement, but 25% of his meetings are in SBC churches and he claims that 15 to 20 percent of Southern Baptists that he meets are open to the charismatic movement. In November 2005, the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board voted to forbid missionaries to speak in tongues, but Jerry Rankin, the head of the board, said that he had spoken in a “private prayer language” for 30 years. What confusion! Speaking at a chapel service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006, Pastor Dwight McKissic, a trustee, told the students that he speaks in tongues in his “private prayer life” and has done so since 1981, when he was a seminary student (“Southwestern Trustee’s Sermon on Tongues Prompts Response,” Baptist Press, Aug. 30, 2006). In May 2015, the Southern Baptist International Mission Board reversed its former policy, now accepting missionaries who speak in “tongues” so long as they don’t become “disruptive” (“FAQs on Missionary Appointment Qualifications,” IMB Policy 200-1, IMB.org). One of the major bridges from the charismatic movement into Southern Baptist churches and homes is contemporary worship music. The 2008 Southern Baptist Hymnal contains a great many songs written by charismatics. About 75 of the top 100 contemporary worship songs are included. These songs are direct bridges to the one-world “church.” I don’t know of one prominent contemporary worship artist who is opposed in any practical sense to the charismatic movement and ecumenism, and that includes the Gettys. Because the SBC refuses to deal with this error consistently, the leaven will continue to spread. The Bible warns that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” This is true for sin (1 Cor. 5:6) as well as for false doctrine (Gal. 5:9). And in a few years, someone will be writing about “tongues speaking” and other charismatic phenomena among Independent Baptists.
NOAH’S IMPOSSIBLE SHIP (Friday Church News Notes, January 11, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, Dec. 14, 2018: “According to the Bible, Noah’s Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It was built of a type of wood called ‘gopher wood.’ This may have been laminated wood, but it was wood. However, skeptics claim that even today wooden boats cannot be made that large simply because wood is not strong enough to endure the huge stresses generated by such a large structure; they say only iron can endure these stresses. That is, of course, not true. Ancient writers tell us of a sea battle in 280 BC in which the Leontifera participated. They describe the Leontifera in some detail. They tell us that she carried 1,600 rowers and 1,200 additional fighting men. From these and other details, the Leontifera has been estimated to have been between 400 and 500 feet long. Plutarch tells us of another ship built around 294 BC that had twice as many banks of oars as the Leontifera. In the late third century BC, Ptolemy Philopator built a ship that took 400 sailors to run, in addition to 4,000 rowers. With additional soldiers on board, the ship carried 7,250 men. This battleship was 420 feet long, wider than Noah’s Ark and about the same height. The Bible is trustworthy in all that it teaches, even when it talks about historical fact or the natural world that science studies. Ref: Creation, 6‑8/00, pp. 46‑48, ‘The Large Ships of Antiquity.’”
CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).
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