religion, christianity, articles
David Lipscomb University, religion, Bible, Christianity, church, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, faith, salvation, baptism, Christian, Church of Christ, Baptist, Catholic, Non-denominational, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, inspiration, agnostism, divorce, Calvinism, premillennialism, evolution, creation, morals, feminism,
Faulkner University, Abilene Christian University, Optimist, St. Gertrude's Catholic Church, 
marijuana, pot, Bill Banowsky, Eddie Sharp, Thomas F. Roeser, Anchor Baptist Church

Potpourri, March 1997


religion, articles, christianity
RIP-Delta Brewer Midland Catholics A Grim Reaper
Grammar Tradition Pot Where Did God Come From?
Faulkner Wingo Banowsky Brickbats
Application Testimonial Eddie Sharp For Hackers

It is so nice to open the mail and read messages I like this: "Inasmuch as I am a subscriber to the Firm Foundation and find same to be excellent would you please put my friends on your subscription list (names given)? Enclosed is a check to cover the expense ... I appreciate the editor and men who are keeping us informed on what is happening in the church today. It grieves me to hear of these things but I do want to be informed ... What a pleasure to read and study the Firm Foundation ... I read the paper and then pass it on to a gentleman at church. It's the only way we know what is going on. We certainly don't get it from the pulpit ... Thank you for all your efforts in standing firm for the truth, which is the only foundation worth building our lives upon ... we enjoy reading the Firm Foundation ... we enjoy immensely the articles by sister Taylor. More power to you and all the writers." We aim to keep on keeping on. For the first several years the paper was published the masthead carried the Bible verse: "Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way" (Psa. 119:104). That continues to be our sentiment. The verse now being used is: "The firm foundation of God standeth having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19). The Lord knows his own because they hear his voice and follow him. We pledge to every reader and supporter that our commitment to everlasting truth shall neither fail nor fade. Our feet are firmly planted on God's inerrant Word and from that platform we shall never retreat.

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RIP-Delta Brewer

Roelf L. Ruffner of Chillicothe, Texas, writes, "You might mention that sister Delta Brewer of Lubbock passed away September 3. He husband, Gordon Brewer, is a sound preacher of the gospel at the Southside congregation in Lubbock. Delta was a wonderful Christian woman who fought a long, courageous battle with cancer. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. But through Jesus Christ she won the most important battle of all."

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Grammar

My grammar, 'tis of thee,
Sweet incongruity,
Of thee I sing.
I love each mood and tense,
Each freak of accidence,
Protect me from common sense,
Grammar, my King!
(Isaac Goldburg)

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Faulkner

Faulkner University, Montgomery, Ala., announces its annual lectureship March 9­12. Featured speakers are V.P. Black, Tom Holland, Jesse Long, and Hardeman Nichols.

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Application

I am applying for a job as youth minister.

Qualifications: Age 65; 45 years preaching experience in congregations from 6 to 600; raised 3 children; active and overweight.

How I work: Require attendance to all Bible Study and Worship periods, and daily Bible reading. Get­togethers in which youth are expected to memorize, quote scripture and comment on meaning. Also get­togethers for maintenance on building (cleaning, painting, window washing, vacuuming, or anything that needs to be done). Additional work, helping the elderly and infirm with housework, yard­work and errands. Require parents to participate in at least half of work sessions and half of social sessions, as chaperons.

Expectations: Short term: rebelling and grumbling from teens, parents and elders. Long range: youth disciplined, courteous, respectful, hard working and with good knowledge of God's Word.

If interested contact Ed Smithson (who speaks tongue­in­cheek).

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Midland

Elmer Ratliff of Midland, TX wrote, "Do we still believe in the resurrection of Jesus, salvation and damnation? I love the church and am concerned about a lack of evangelism. We are not hearing from our pulpits about Jesus and the cross, the plan of salvation, Christian living, and the work and worship of the church. We are hearing sermons on every subject in the world except the gospel of Christ. We must preach the conditions of redemption on Sunday morning, when we have the most visitors. During the period '41 through '61 preachers weren't quite so eloquent; they just preached the gospel and the church grew by 580 percent, according to the Year Book of American Churches."

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Tradition

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a man is on trial for forcing his 13 and 14 year­old daughters to marry men twice their age. He is charged with sexual abuse, his wife with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and the two "bridegrooms" with rape. All face heavy prison sentences, and all are reportedly astonished at the charges. For they are Iraqi Muslims conforming to their traditional custom of early and arranged marriages. The New York Times reports that this is merely one of a rash of cases where "multiculturalism" clashes with legal and constitutional rights (National Review, Dec. 13, p. 16).

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Wingo

Adron Doran and J. E. Choate came from Wingo, AL. Brother Choate wrote: "In my little town of Wingo, where Adron was principal and I taught under him, there is a street named after him, and the street leading off his street is named after the Choate family." More important is the fact that the names of these two men are written in heaven.

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Testimonial

A young man was converted from denominationalism. He understood the restoration principle and believed in the concept devoutly. He had found the truth and the shackles of human­creeds had been struck off. He understood the exclusiveness and separateness of the church. Upon graduation from high school, he decided to go to Abilene Christian University to further his education and be strengthened in his faith.

Upon arriving at the "holy hill," he was shocked. He was not prepared for what he would see and hear. He said, "I figured the Christian atmosphere would be better than a state school. I honestly could not believe what was endorsed and taught. Almost everyone in my dorm believed that baptism was an outward show of an inward grace and that it was optional. Most of them did not know what Acts 2:38 or Mark 16:16 say. Most believed there is nothing wrong with instrumental music in worship. When these subjects were discussed, most would say, 'Why are we arguing about this. The main thing is we all believe in Jesus. We should fellowship each other.' It was frustrating. At a Tuesday night devotional some said, 'We shouldn't be so quick to judge the charismatic movement. One student said there is nothing wrong with not getting baptized, instrumental music in worship, holy spirit baptism today, and women preachers."

This freshman also said, "I picked up a copy of the Optimist [ACU's student newspaper, published under the auspice of the Department of Journalism] and saw the headline, Sunday Night Communion, a Time for Fellowship. The 'communion' is at the University church. The lights are dim, and tables in the aisles are lighted with candles. On the tables are unleavened bread and grape juice and a person is supposed to take communion whenever he feels like it. The whole time people are singing. Do you know how hard it is to focus on the Lord's suffering and sacrifice while the congregation is singing? People are sitting in the aisles and against the wall talking." In the Optimist article several were interviewed about what the communion service means to them and not one of them "said anything about remembering the Lord and his suffering."

That is sad for this young convert. In utter frustration, he elected to drop out of ACU . He will enter a state school and seek his education among atheists because professing Christians are so unbelieving.

Parents beware!

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Catholics

Earl Davis of Arlington Hts., Illinois sent a thick bundle of Chicago Tribune newspapers reporting on the Catholic church. The articles tell us the Catholics are torn apart by liberalism. One headline says, "the Roman Catholic Church confronts internal dissent and a shortage of priests while buffeted by an erosion in ethical values ..." Another article says, "A bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God beat up a life­size statue of the Virgin Mary on a television program in Brazil, exhorting the statue to defend herself and calling her a false idol." Still another headline says, "Parishes Struggle to Gain Converts." We are also told, "Opinion polls in several European nations show a sharp decline in the pope's approval rating." A Dec. 13 article says, "The [Catholic] Church has opened many doors to Catholic women, with the exception of ordination. But even a liberal such as retired archbishop John Quinn says that will never happen." Two days later a headline declared, "With its belief in traditions but with a commitment to change and innovation, the Chicago archdiocese is a microcosm of and a leader in world Catholicism." On Dec. 19 the paper reports, "Years ago, they would have been called heretics. Now, unhappy laity leave or seek internal church reforms. Absolute traditions challenged by democratic spirit. Bill Kenneally, pastor of St. Gertrude's Catholic Church says, "The priest pastor now is kind of a guy who's on a ship trying to find its course-and it's leaking quite a bit."

This probably gives the Catholics too much space, but it is interesting to note that they, too, are having problems with liberalism. It is more consistent for a Catholic, who has never believed in the absolute authority of the Bible in religion, than it is for those who claim to respect the Bible, to turn to religious liberalism. Of course liberals reject the Bible as authoritative and deny it is a pattern for worship and life ­ that is what makes them liberals. All modern religious groups struggle with the inroads of liberal thought ­ it is the nature of things. We must not be discouraged but all the more determined to be loyal servants of Jesus, who was himself attacked and condemned by those who were deaf, blind and unheeding to divine guidance. "Seeing, they see not; hearing, they hear not." If any man hath an ear, let him hear."

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Pot

There is a very fine article, But It's Only Pot, in the Reader's Digest (Jan. 1997) about Heather Brooks, a high school student who was drawn into what she thought was an innocent practice of smoking pot. The drug subtly robbed her of incentive and she descended into the underworld of mindless drifting. Her grades fell from excellent to failing, she became deceitful and dishonest, her only interest was the next marijuana cigarette. One sad night she was involved in a terrible auto crash, hospitalized with painful and lifelong injuries, and embarrassed by having to openly admit her shameful conduct. She survived, has quit pot and its related activities and is rebuilding her life. The article shows clearly the looming danger of fooling with pot.

The article says that from 1994 to the present there has been a 25 percent increase of marijuana use among youths ages 12­17. It also says, "Studies show that there are developmental stages in drug use, though one drug doesn't inevitably lead to the next stage of abuse. A marijuana user most likely started with alcohol and cigarettes. Researchers say few people experiment with other illicit drugs without having tried marijuana first. A 1994 analysis showed that adults who used pot as children are 17 times more likely to become regular cocaine users."

The article concludes with the statement: "Heather Brooks will always bear scars from her dance with the devil. She still has back pain from the accident, and occasionally she sees after­images trailing behind moving objects, a legacy of her drug use. But her hopes are as big as they ever were. In 1995 she entered college, where she maintains high grades. 'It was a close call,' she says today, 'I almost let my dreams go up in a cloud of sweet­smelling smoke.'"

Thousands of heartbroken parents know that it does not always turn out so well and have been compelled to bury the remains of their own flesh and blood because the young ones put their fingers in the cracks where serpents dwell. Let us have the good sense to warn our youth. Pot smoking is witchcraft. Witchcraft is a work of the flesh. They who practice such things shall not inherit the everlasting kingdom of God.

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Banowsky

Bill Banowsky, who now repudiates the restoration of pristine Christianity, rejects baptism unto the remission of sins, and is in full fellowship with denominations has been named "Alumnus of the Year" by David Lipscomb University in Nashville (Lipscomb News, Vol. 19, No. 2, Oct. 1996).

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Eddie Sharp

On October 20, 1996 Eddie Sharp, preacher for the University Church in Abilene, Texas (the congregation where the come­and­go Lord's Supper is served on Sunday nights) preached a sermon advocating the elevation of women to positions of leadership in the worship and work of the church.

In his sermon he spoke of "the maleness and femaleness of God." One listener observed, "This is a current theme of far­out liberal theologians and is totally absurd. God is not a sexual being."

The observer­critic also said, "Eddie makes an emotionally appealing argument to make it appear that we do not love our wives unless we, as men, relinquish our God­given role of leadership."

Sharp claims in his sermon that the husband being the head of the wife is a church tradition. He may be right about that, seeing that Paul said: "Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:2­3).

Eddie Sharp argues that the silence enjoined on women in 1 Corinthians 14:34­35 has only to do with "inappropriate speech." It does not, according to him, apply to women in worship generally because, Sharp thinks, that would keep women from singing, which is speaking and teaching. If he right about that, the door is open for women preachers. Women elders are not far behind. The domination of men by women is the next step and that flies in the face of Bible teaching about the right relationship between men and women.

The Bible does not depreciate women but honors them. The Christian wife is to hold herself in an attitude of respectful submission to her husband (Eph. 5:22­24). This does not degrade the wife but it does uphold the husband's position of leadership in the family. Paul was talking about the preaching (prophesying) portion of the worship assembly in 1 Corinthians 14:34­35, and during the public teaching part of the worship the women are "to keep silence." That is absolute silence. They are to say nothing. The principle forbids women preachers, but does not preclude women from singing, which is a different segment of worship.

To justify his idea of women leading in worship, Eddie Sharp must make 1 Corinthians 14:34­35 and 1 Timothy 2:11­14 toothless, which thing he blithely proceeds to do. He aligns himself with those who deny the pattern­authority of the Bible.

Thomas F. Roeser, in his Chicago Tribune column (Nov. 4, 1996) wrote: "Since the 15th century most believers have thought the Bible God­inspired. But there have always been relativists torturing themselves and others over what God could have or should have meant.... Why give so much attention to relativists when the burden of biblical scholarship points the other way? Two reasons. First, the Bible claims to give objective truth, and embarrassment to many moderns.... Second, when left untempered with by relativists, the book has stunning power to dispel confusion and ambiguity-the only book that reads you while you read it" (Once again, our thanks to Earl Davis for sending the Roeser piece.)

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A Grim Reaper

Sara Pearsaul (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 6, 1996) wrote: "What worries me is that suicide is becoming somehow acceptable through the ghoulish crusade of Jack Kevorkian. Even the terminology of the technique he advocates, 'assisted suicide,' implies something positive, and the media reports that he 'helps' people die. Were the words more weighted with the value of life, a 'physician­assisted suicide' might be better described as a serial killing."

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Where Did God Come From?

Carroll P. Bennett of Camden, Ark., sent a clipping from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Nov. 26, 1996) in which Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor said "Adam and Eve may have been some other form than human." O'Connor then explained, "Perhaps the spirit of God that breathed forth life into the Earth ... was a lower animal."

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Brickbats

Prosecutors and police in Woburn, Massachusetts, are investigating the Anchor Baptist Church.

The church allegedly lured kids from a nearby housing project with promises of pizza and basketball games. But the children were instead preached to and given full­body baptisms. The church reportedly never even gave them any pizza. The children's parents are quite upset (Reason, Jan. 1997).

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For Hackers

If you can access the internet, you may want to take a look at http://www.bible­infonet.org/, an excellent Home Page. It is evangelistic in nature and, though only on the internet for a short time, has enjoyed having 2,638 visitors with 20,188 HTML files transferred. There are 11.4 requests per hour (that figures to almost 100,000 requests for Bible information each year). Bible teaching is being distributed from the internet at a rapid and growing rate. Special thanks to Howard Burnette who serves as Webmaster for this important page, and does so without pay and for the love of truth. Thank you, Howard. The Firm Foundation, World Video Bible School, Memphis School of Preaching, and Southwest School of Bible Studies have a presence on Bible­Infonet.

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