Blessings from Independent Baptists

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by John of Japan, May 26, 2011.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    There is so much negativity on the Baptist Board right now, even on this "Fundamental Baptist Forum" which was created as a refuge for fundamentalists. I thought I'd start a positive thread. So please post here about blessings and help you have received from independent Baptists.

    Some years ago, someone who no longer posts here asked me in essence, John, why do you defend them? Here is what I answered him.

     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I thank God for my IFB parents. Yes they were strict. Mom once had Dad throw away a bunch of Tarzan novels that were given to us thinking they might be teaching evolution. (They didn't.) We didn't "drink, smoke or chew, or run with them that do!" But as a result I still don't smoke or drink, and thus don't have lung cancer or liver disease (common in my relatives who drink). (Got spanked for smoking when I was about 8, thank God!)

    Dad was a faithful preacher of the Gospel for 60 years. He wasn't much of a preacher, just average, and wasn't much of a soul winner, though he always tried. But his "sugar stick" sermon was, "It Pays to Serve Jesus, and he truly believed that. And he never quit on the Lord, so he was a wonderful example to me! He came down with Alzheimer's late in life.

    During his final illness when he checked into the hospital, Mom filled out the forms, and when she came to "Religion" she asked Dad what to put. Even in his Alzheimer's fog, Dad said, "I don't have a religion, I have a Savior!" Before he died of complications, he tried to have services for the other folk in the hospital, leading them in singing and then trying to preach from a magazine, which somehow he thought was a Bible. The man loved Jesus until his dying breath! I flew back to America to preach his funeral, and my theme was, Dad was always climbing the mountain God gave him, like old Caleb.

    Mom is still alive, though in an assisted care facility. She's a little hard to get along with sometimes, but I still remember her gentlenesss to her children. She taught me the Word of God, helped me memorize verses since I was a tiny tot, led me to Christ when I was four, had me lay my little head on her lap in churche when I was a little guy.

    Mom too was always a soul winner. She always tried to help folks in trouble, too, like the poor lady down the street (whose son taught me poker, but don't tell Mom). Once when the six Rice sisters were together they started saying what they admired about each other. When they came to Mom it was that she was always trying to help.

    I truly honor and thank God for my fundamentalist parents.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Good on you, John. You followed the Lord.

    I have the same feelings about Jarvis Street Baptist Church, Dr. T.T. Shields an the Regular Baptist Churches, and the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.

    Labels, in my mind, are just that, "labels" and meant to go into the laundry with the washing. I am, however, an evangelical believer in the fundamentals of the faith. I tend to pick individuals rather than organizations for my fellowship.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. dcorbett

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    Thank you, John. Your sincere post should put some people's perspective in a clearer light. I too have known through the years many wonderful IFB Moms and Dads who showed immense love for each other - and love and care for their children tempered with proper discipline. I still do. I also know very sincere and God-inspired Pastors who live what they preach without any qualms and would rather die than stand in the way of someone coming to know Christ.


    Seize me, O Lord, get hold of my heart!!!


    Thank you for your service to the Lord. :flower:
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    Guess what John, I appreciate your grandaddy too! :)

    His stuff, I didn't have to re-examine to see if it lined up with scripture, I knew it did. I didn't have to be afraid to give my children his "Bibles Stories for Children" to read, because I knew I agree with what he taught.

    He taught the difference between wisdom and sin when it concerned issues such as smoking and drinking. And he lived what he taught. He didn't just say "do what I say", but he did what he said too! That was something that wasn't modeled in my life.

    If the IFB's in my areas had continued in your grandfather's path I might still be one.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Not a single pastor, mentor, advisor, teacher, or friend that I have in IFB circles has been perfect. They are all flawed vessels. Kind of like me.

    I now disagree with some of what I was taught in the past.

    But, with the exception of one or two along the way I thank God for these people who have been a part of my life, One of the key things that I learned was a deep, deep love for the word of God.

    No, no one that I have known in IFB circles has been perfect. But they have gone a long way in making me the man I am today.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    I was not saved in an IFB church, but was called to preach in an IFB church, trained in an IFB College, mentored by an IFB pastor in the early years, served IFB churches until called by God and the local church to a SBC congregation.

    I too thank God for the IFB's influence in my life.
     
  8. exscentric

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    I started Bible College in a school called Little Dallas since all but one faculty member were from Dallas in recent days. Not that they were way off in left field but after two years I just did not feel comfortable with the school. Through some direction from the Lord I ended up at Denver Baptist Bible College - the first chapel session I knew I was home.

    I did run into some wrinkles there but have always identified myself as a Baptist even though I have normally ministered in Bible/Independent churches.

    I was thinking one evening in my office that I ought to thank some of the faculty that put up with me at Denver. Picked up the phone to call Dr. Augsberger (the then president) and found out that he had died a few months earlier.

    Thank those guys before it is too late as you have opportunity :)
     
  9. MamaCW

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    Aww! I loved your post!

    And I thank God for my IFB Grandma and Aunt..she always reminded me "Remember you have Jesus in your heart" (but in spanish lol) even when I was older, rebellious, and not wanting to hear it. The IFB church has always been "home" to me...even when I left and led a wreckless life..I never stopped hearing her voice in the back of my head though..
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks to everyone for your great, positive posts here.

    MamaCW mentioned her godly Grandma and menageriekeeper mentioned my grandparents. I too truly thank God for godly grandparents. As most of you know, my Grandpa was well known fundamentalist evangelist John R. Rice. Over on SharperIron.org a pastor said that when he was growing up the "Rice Clan" (as we called it) was "royalty" in fundamentalism, in comments about a review of my brother's new book on fundamentalism. Praise God I never knew that growing up!

    I just thought we were an ordinary family. Didn't everyone have a grandpa with a big building housing a newspaper? I remember playing at the "Sword" building in Wheaton with those little metal address plates the machine used to address the newspapers, and longing for more rides on that great freight elevator. And we would go to Grandpa and Grandma's house for dinner on Sundays after church. Famous? Who knew it?

    But my grandparents were just Grandpa and Grandma to me, godly people who served and loved the Lord. I remeber sitting on Grandpa's lap at maybe 5 and being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said "a cowboy preacher" because I figured preaching was the family business, but I wanted to be a cowboy like Uncle Bill Rice (founder of the Bill Rice Ranch, the first true deaf ministry). I also remember being spanked one time by Grandpa for disobedience. (How many can say that outside the immediate family? :smilewinkgrin:)

    But Grandma may have been the most loving person I've ever known. I told more about her here on the Baptist Board: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=3974&page=4

    My brother, in his new book I recently reviewed here, tells how at a spiritual crossroads in his life he decided to just imitate the unconditional love shown him by Grandma Rice, and that spiritually revived him. He called her the only person who ever truly loved him unconditionally.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    When I was in high school, Dad pastored a GARB church in Wisconsin. We used to have IFB evangelist Bud Lyles come for meetings, sometimes every year. When I was 16, I responded to Brother Lyles' sermon on Romans 12:1-2 (I think it was), one of my Dad's favorite passages. At the invitation I went forward to surrender all of my life to Christ, everything, to do whatever He asked. I thank God so much for Brother Lyles and his understanding of the Word of God and of young peoples' hearts. Later I dated his daughter once at college--the same girl my sisters tried to make me kiss when I was about 5. We both resisted!

    When I was 18 Brother Lyles came to preach again. God called me to preach through his message. It was such a precious and private experience that I hesitate to share it here, but it resembled Ezekiel's call. I have been 100% sure of God's call to preach ever since that day, and never turned back. The next day my IFB Dad called me into his study for a talk.

    "Are you sure God called you to preach?"

    "Yes sir."

    Dad held up his Bible: "Then always base everything you preach on God's Word!" And I've always tried to do that.

    To this day the greatest privilege in my life is simply to serve God. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for those two IFB preachers who showed me the way, Bud Lyles and Charles Himes, my Dad.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I had dozens of teachers in college and seminary, and I wish I could take time to mention them all and how they blessed me. But a few stand out in my mind.

    Some of you old Tennessee Temple hands will remember Wymal Porter. What a blessing! I read on Facebook that he's still alive, 85 now. I took Hebrews and Corinthians from him, NT Survey, I think.

    I took "Methods of Bible Study" from Dennis Wisdom. What a great name for a Bible teacher! That class changed my life and taught me to dig deep into the Word of God.

    I never took a class from Douglas Cravens, the dean of Temple Baptist Theological Seminary when I was there, but his son was my kung fu teacher, so I knew the family well. Watching Dr. Cravens and his wife, I was amazed he still opened the doof for her well up into old age. That was a great example for me. Then when she was hit and killed by a young driver, he personally visited the young lady in the hospital and assured her of his forgiveness. What grace and Christian love!

    Time and space would fail me to discuss my many other teachers down through the years, but all of them were a blessing: James Price (noted Hebrew scholar), Roger Martin (an uncle), David Wingate (sys theo at Temple), Fred Moritz (sys theo at Maranatha), etc. In light of recent scandals, it's reassuring to know that of all those teachers, only one had a scandal connected to his name that I know of--a short fling with his secretary. (You TTU old timers will know who I mean.) He repented, was forgiven and is still with his wife.

    Someone might say, "John, you went to IFB schools back in the '70's so you don't know what rascals IFB teachers are nowadays." Actually, on every furlough so far I have taken courses: 1986 and '93 at Temple, '98 and 2005 at Maranatha Baptist Grad School, graduating with my MA in Biblical Studies. I thank God for all of my teachers!
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    My next step in life was to move to live with my grandparents and work at the Sword of the Lord until I was accepted at Baptist World Mission. I met some wonderful people at the SOTL, especially the regular workers. I used to hang around with the printers, janitor and the others, playing ping pong with them at lunch. (I used to swear some day I'd beat Dwight the printer--never did, even when I stopped by on our first furlough after learning from with a Chinese tournament player in Japan.)

    The people at Baptist World Mission were then and still are wonderful IFB Christians. In particular, I was mentored by Dr. Monroe Parker, a true fundamentalist scholar who had one of the first Ph. D.'s granted at BJU. As part of his work for that he studied at Princeton. He and his wife were such gracious and good people, and I miss them.

    Various board members, IFB pastors, took and interest in my and helped me along. It would take too long to tell about everyone, and most are in Heaven now, but Dr. Ed Nelson was instrumental in getting me together with my wife. He went to Russia as a missionary for awhile after he was in his 70s, something he'd always wanted to do, and is still preaching the Word.

    Dr. Fred Moritz, another fundamentalist scholar, eventually replaced Dr. Parker, and has been a great blessing down through the years, visiting us in Japan before he became executive director. He mentored me in the area of education on one of those trips, encouraging me to finish my masters'--rapping on my head with his knuckles and saying, "You have a good brain. You need to develop it all the way." :laugh: In getting that degree, I later had the privilege of sittng under him in a Christology class.

    I'm an old timer now, having joined the board almost 34 years ago. But the current crop of admin people and office workers are wonderful also, and I thank God for them.
     
  14. dcorbett

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    Keep going, Brother John....I am reading and enjoying!!! :thumbs:
     
  15. Mexdeaf

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    You're barking up my tree, JOJ. I knew a lot of those same people at TTU and Dr. Parker was a favorite preacher of mine.
     
  16. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Dittos from here as well.
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks for the encouragement, folks.

    I'm sure you old TTU guys have your own Lee Roberson stories. I could write a lot about him, but let me just share my own experiences.

    In 1973 I suffered a knee injury while training in the martial arts, and had to have surgery. There I was, recovering from surgery in the hospital, when in walks the pastor of the second largest church in the world, the founder and president of my college, Dr. Lee Roberson! He prayed with me and soon left, but I was amazed. I learned he had a habit of visiting every single church member and student! That could be a 100 hospital visits in one week, folks.

    After I got out of the hospital, I limped around trying to get back on my feet both physically and metaphorically. I had to drop out of school, couldn't work at the factory--things were rough all around. One day as I limped to the door of the building housing the financial office, there came Dr. Roberson out the door. He smiled, greeted me--and then held open the door for me! Once again, this IFB "big shot" showed me grace and kindness.

    After I graduated, worked at the Sword for 11 months, then began deputation, I decided to try Highland Park Baptist Church. An appointment was made for me not with some missions director, not with Dr. Faulkner the assistant, but with Dr. Roberson, who took a personal interest in every missionary he met. He prayed with me, promised support, and was as gracious as ever. I still treasure signed letters sent by Dr. Roberson to all the 100s of missionaries supported by HPBC.

    After Dr. Roberson retired, we happened to be at the same church for meetings one furlough. His messages were as sharp as ever, though in person he seemed to have lost some of his sharp memory. But he made friends with our teen-aged son, signing and giving him two of his books. I'm not only grateful to have known Dr. Roberson, but glad my son got to meet him. What a wonderful man of God he was. "There were giants in the earth in those days."
     
  18. Bob Alkire

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    Thanks, great story. Dr. Roberson has been a blessing to many.
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I began deputation in late 1977. That meant visiting many churches, probably close to 200 in 3 1/2 years, and presenting our future ministry in Japan in those churches. I met so many wonderful pastors and great Christians in those days I can't take the time to tell about them all. Some of these I may have met later on furlough--don't remember.

    Dr. Steve Euler was my college homiletics teacher and seminary Greek teacher. It's always great to see him on furlough and fellowship, and their church is one of our favorites--not to mention it has some of our relatives going there! I remember complaining when I preached there once that I never got over a B from him in homiletics. After my message Dr. Euler got up, grinned and said, "John, that was a B plus!"

    Bro. Bob Ross recently went to Heaven. He was always such a blessing! We lived in their missionary house one furlough. His son Jerry now pastors the church, and they recently had over 600--in a country town that only has about 600!

    That reminds me. We have 45 supporting churches and in three of them the son has followed his father as pastor, and in another church the son-in-law followed as pastor. That's a wonderful testimony in my book! Also, in addition to these, fully 12 of our 45 supporting pastors have been in the same church for at least 20 years, and some as long as 30 or 40 years!
     

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