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Old Regular Baptist

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Frogman, Apr 13, 2004.

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  1. old regular

    old regular Member

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    Brother Bobs website

    Bro.Bob I liked your website........ The song varations that occur among Regular Baptist songbooks , is this done because of copyright, difference in doctrine or was the song from oral tradition or some other reason? Brother Mike
     
  2. old regular

    old regular Member

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    Belief not a work

    Belief not a work? I would agree it is not a work of man but it is a work of God, not in the sense that God believes for man, but God gives the Grace by which we believe. I do not go along with all the calvinist on the web, while I may agree with them on many points of doctrine, I would not subscribe to all the things some of them advocate, but through the years ,I haven't always agreed with myself, especially after reading the Bible more carefully, I found it very easy, to misunderstand a verse here and there and this can throw you off keel in a flash.
     
  3. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    Copyright in most cases and in a few of the newer songs written, I may have left a word out or it was against scripture.

    As far as the doctrine, we will just have to agree to disagree for I believe a dead man in sin can hear. He is dead in a sense, that he is separated from God. If the "dead in sin can't hear, then we still all lost". Also, if the dead in sin can't hear, then will they hear him when He says, "depart from me ye workers of iniquity"? I have heard it several times lately that the dead can't do nothing. Well, there is a lot of difference in being dead physically, and being "dead in sin". Jesus said "let the dead bury the dead", that would be pretty hard if they couldn't hear.
    Why preach the Gospel to every creature if they "can't hear"?
    Why preach repentance if they can't repent?
    Why preach ye must believe if they can't hear or believe?
    If a man don't have faith of his own, then how can he add to it?
    As you already know I can give scriptures for all I have just stated, but you do sound pretty close to the hard liners in some of your doctrine. I can see why you left the NNS, when you say that even repentance and faith is given by God, and that a man can't do nothing until God gives him a new birth, if I am quoting you right, and I believe God meant what He said when He said, preach the Gospel to "every creature" and he that "believeth".

    You preach every Sunday and other days "for a man to repent", when all the time you believe "he can't" unless God reborns him first. You are preaching to all men something, you don't believe they can do. I believe that goes against the whole bible from the faith of Abel until now. I don't believe I will ever understand it Mike. From my understanding of the Scriptures, I would never of felt right with the "old hard liners", or those who believe a man can't even have faith of his own.

    It seems instead of preaching to all men to repent, when they can't unless God does it, seems it would be better to preach to God to "repent that man and change him and put belief in him", so he don't go to hell, if God is the only one who can do it?

    You say "light is life", when the scripture says the "light lighteth every man that cometh into the world". In the sense where Jesus is light, then Jesus is life, but you must believe to receive Him. So, you don't have the light but its there for you, if you will believe. Whosoever believeth on Him, should not abide in darkness.

    Jhn 1:9[That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
    Jhn 3:21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    Jhn 12:46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

    You will find that word "believe" in almost every scripture in the Bible that you use to say a dead man can't do nothing. Well, I think I can use scripture and show where a "dead man in sin" can do a lot, such as believe and repent.

    You don't believe that everything is predestinated to a man but you do believe all that is important to the saving of your soul is predestinated to man, if I understand you right. Yet, all men everywhere are commanded to repent and if the dead can't hear then how did they hear that "command"?

    Act 17:30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    I don't mean this in no harsh way at all Mike, I guess you are happy where you are and I am happy where I am. Some of my best friends believe like you do and we just don't get into a discussion about it for it leads nowhere. I have asked them a few things over the years and get a "quick" answer, so I just don't mention it anymore.
    BBob
     
    #443 Brother Bob, Dec 1, 2006
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  4. Virginia ORB

    Virginia ORB Member
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    Brother Mike,

    First of all, yes I have heard a brother from the Bethel Assoication. I have been to churches in the Union, Indian Bottom, New Salem, Old Freindship, Bethel, Mountian Valley, Thorton Union, and Original Mountain Liberty. I hope to visit all of them in the future.

    I heard a preacher from the Bethel say that he was unable to repent until he was 39 years old. He said it was impossible for him to repent before that time because God had not shone His light. Do you agree with this statement? I know man cannot save himself, it takes God. Who decides when it is time to repent? Is it man's will or God's will? The reason I asked this was because the Sovergin Grace Assoc. corresponds with the Bethel Assoc.
     
  5. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    I am not Mike but i would agree with the Bethel Preacher, if u read Rom. 3:10-19 i think it shows the Bethel preachers condition before his experience he had at 39 years. as well as all the world that becomes guilty before God. As it says in Rom. 2:4 that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. So its a work of God and in Philippians 1:6 says that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: I don't see how any one who doesn't believe in God would repent. Its a Godly sorrow 2Cor. 7:10, a non believer would have nothing that is Godly of him self. A preacher can't convince, Heb. 4:2, 2Cor 4:3,& 1Cor 2:18. I would say Mercy to those that do not deserve it.
     
  6. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    So Brother Jeremy, you do believe that a person "can believe" in God and therefore can repent? I am glad for that is what I believe also and have been preaching for 34 years. I have always said that all men know there is a God for He said they shall know me from the least unto the greatest.
     
    #446 Brother Bob, Dec 2, 2006
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  7. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    Well Brother Bob those who believe according to the working of his mighty power. Ephes. 1:19 and i would say those that believe are those that do by him that raised Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:21 and those that don't are those that love darkness rather than light. But i would agree with the Bethel Preacher who ever he may have been that Va ORB mentioned. I being in the SGA would say that our association is close with the Bethel association on this point. Mans depraved nature from adam is against God in nature and does not believe or repent. It takes God. Like it says in 1 John 5:1 Whosoever Believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: This is how I being a member of SGA would see it to compare with the Bethel Preacher.
    also above in my reply i used I cor 2:18 mistake its 1:18
     
    #447 Brother Jeremy Slone, Dec 3, 2006
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  8. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    I was kidding you some Brother Jeremy. I know how you believe, we discussed it quite a bit. I personally believe He stands at the door of their hearts and knock. I don't think you can repent until you know you are in need of a Saviour, but I think that knowledge comes when you come to the age of accountability to know to do good and do it not, for the Lord will say in the last day, "I called and you didn't answer". How are you, I haven't seen you on here for a while. You do have to have a tough skin to stand up to these fellows on the theology threads. :)
     
  9. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    No problem brother bob, i am well and hope ya got the minute i sent ya.
     
  10. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    Yes, I got both of them Jeremy and thank you very much.
     
  11. old regular

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    History Forum

    Brothers I think that this debate among Baptist is very old, Elder Earl Lawson , who was a very close friend of mine, stated a man conviced against his will is of the same opinion still, the KJV tells that God Granted repentence to the Gentiles unto life, not into life, the dead must hear the voice of the Son of God to live John 5:25 also look @ 24 to keep this thread on track historically the Confession of Faith 1644 we according to History Came from these brethern not withstanding the Welsh line that entered in among us" IV We teach that they only do, or can believe in Jesus Christ, to whom it is given to believe in Him by a special,gracious and powerful work of His Spirt:And that this is(and shall be) given to the elect in the time appointed of God for their effectual calling;and to none but the elect, John 6;64,65; Phil 1:29; Jer 31:33-34; Ezek 36:26; Rom 8:29-30 John 10:26 This we hold against those that do maintain freewill and sufficent ability in a man to believe; and do deny election." We don't know who's heart God may have opened but Lydia after her heart was opened attended to the things spoken of by Paul or preaching repentence is on a peradventure that God would grant them repentence, and I feel if one is opposing themselves he will, the gospel is the net to catch fish not make them that is done by the operation of the Spirt and without him we can do nothing, "......Christ and the Prophets give witness that through his name,whosoever believes in Him shall recieve the remission of sins Acts 10:43........" 1644 Confession We simply believe that the gift of eternal life brings all these elements with it, and that this truly is Grace," Who hath heard such a thing?who hath seen such things?...................for as soon as Zion travailed,she brought forth her children. " Shall I bring to birth, and not CAUSE to bring forth? saith the Lord:shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God."Is 66:8-9; God as a Soveriegn can command man to repent, and believe and he can give a law to a people that can not keep it,that is why we must look to Christ who has fulfilled the law and suffered its penalty, he can also write his LAW on our hearts and his law is perfect even converting the soul, I believe that Christ can speak to the dead but for our preaching they must have an ear to hear and Proverbs tells us that the Lord creates an hearing ear or seeing eyes, as some had ears and heard not and eyes that saw not. I am glad there are brothers on the other side of Old Regular Baptist that at least or trying to see where we are coming from ,even if they don' t agree with us, I have often felt that very few on that side even care. We might need to start a Old School Baptist doctrine thread as some of the moderators may feel we are taking too much liberty. In Christs Love Bro. Mike
     
  12. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    I don't think I want to go around again, we been there and ended up where we started except we did understand each other better. I am glad you believe those who are dead in sin can hear though.

    Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

    Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
     
  13. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    The influence of Calvinism on seventeenth-century English Baptists:
    In tracing ecclesiastical influences, care must be taken, in default of specific evidence, not to confuse the process of "derived from" with "conforms to," particularly given that numerous groups were thumbing the scriptures at one and the same time, anxious to discover biblical patterns of belief and churchmanship. (1) Moreover, self-respecting Puritans would argue that the authority for their reforms was not a human-made system of theology, be it ever so orthodox, but the authority of Christ as discovered in the scriptures themselves. (2) But that said, it remains that the norm of theological thinking among English Puritanism, and the Dissent that derived from it, was a "prevailing Calvinism," from which deviations have to be established and evidenced. Even so, a common origin can be found for even apparently discrepant thinking

    Brother Mike it seems Calvinistic doctrine had his hand in the 1644 confession also.
     
  14. old regular

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    I see no problem with any of the above scriptures, and I am thankful 2 Peter 3:9 (he is longsuferring to US-WARD, not willing that any (any who?)(us)should perish,but all should come to repentence. Now look At Ephesians 1:11"......who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Now if God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, and his will is that not any should perish and that any is all men, then you would have an universal salvation. I do not believe God has any pleasure in the death of the wicked, and he would have all men(all types of men) to be saved Greeks,Jews every nation ,kindred and tongue. I believe God made man upright, and that he does not make anyone evil or wicked in order to condemn them but they are condemned because they are wicked and evil yet Jude says 4th verse"For there are certain men crept in unawares,who were before ordained to this condemnation. ......." people are not going to say to God send me to hell, so he must place them there,because sin must be punished, and God will excute vengeance with eternal fire.Also look and see if there are people that God hates, and I am not talking just about the Esau verse. This is important because there is a Group which came out of the New Salem and Indian Bottom and with 6 members from some of our churches, that are using the words every, and any , and all much like you have but unlike you they take it to the extreme, and they advocate that all men will be saved in the end, that hell is on earth, I know that you on the other hand believe in justification by faith, and I do not really think that you believe that man by nature would turn and believe or repent, but have preached that we all like sheep have went astray and there is none that seeketh, ( that is by nature) that a carnal mind is not subject to the laws of God, that the natural man recieveth not the things that be of the Spirit neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned,We(SGA) believe it is Grace that enables one to believe and then they recieve more Grace so that it is Grace for Grace. [Acts 13:48] good verse but not the one I was thinking about ,Acts 18:27"......helped them much which had believed through Grace" John 1:16"......,and grace for grace." Brother Mike
     
  15. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    As far as God working everything after council of His own will. He is an all knowing God, and knows who will believe and who will not.
    Predestination to me is easy if you believe that God is everlasting to everlasting and knows all.

    The difference between you and I is that I believe that Spirit is striving with all men to repent. I do believe the dead in sin can hear the call of God, if I didn't I think all would be lost. I for sure do not believe in universalism Salvation.
    We are so close but still not exactly. I believe that the Spirit is there first to strive with man, Man must believe and repent and follow that Spirit to Salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Grace of God. I have never ever believed a man can save himself. A man can do everything he wants, even give his body to be burned but he still don't have Salvation for that is of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    I know you believe that God must first regenerate the heart before a man can believe and some use that "the dead can't do nothing". Well, I say the dead can believe and in the end when all the dead in sin will hear the Lord say "depart", they will hear him.
    I take my own life and something was always talking with me after I came to know to do good and did it not. When I was dying with this heart of mine. I said, Lord I know I am not worthy and if its your will that I die let it be, but save my dying soul. I give all I got which is not much, but I give it all to you Lord. I then felt the Lord in my life from that day until now. I believe that every other man has the same opportunity as I did but most will continue to love darkness rather than light and neither will they come to the light "lest their deeds be reproved".
    You have scriptures and I have scriptures. You are not nearly as hard as the ones I have confronted on here. I have not run into one yet that can use scripture and convince me otherwise than what I believe. I think I might know the one that took your 6 you are talking about and if it is, the leader is nothing but trouble and seeking what he can destroy.

    After being on here and meeting all these Calvinists and talking with you and Jeremy, now when I am at church I catch thing I used to would of let go by. Brothers saying things and not finishing what they started, using a short passage for thats all they know and not giving a message but making a point out of a short passage. We have so many that can not get into the Scriptures for they know not what they say. All my Christian life I have heared we ordain our own trouble and there is truth to that for few could debate you and these hard line Calvinists on here, they would be lost. I am glad that God does have ministers that really study what the scriptures mean. I still believe as I did when I first joined this Baptist Board, but they have made me study to defend this Old time Baptist doctrine. Hardly any worship as we do. They mock the washing of feet, the laying on of hands, the fact that we don't believe a child of God can commit adultery. A lot believe a child of God can still do the sinful things he did before Salvation, he just needs to repent again. This Haggard fellow, most take up for him but not me. I don't think he ever was a minister of God. He was a minister alright but not one of God.

    I still believe in "cleanse your hands ye sinner" is to the world and its saying we must quit such things as adultery or God will never save us.

    Merry Christmas to you and Jeremy and all of your church members and God bless,
     
    #455 Brother Bob, Dec 7, 2006
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  16. old regular

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    Merry Christmas Bro.Bob and family

    Brother Bob, I do not think the Old Regular Baptist will ever end their debates on Hope and Knowledge, Light and Life etc.......... "cleanse ye hands......" Brother Claude Ousley would rebuke any Brother that preached that to alien sinners, maybe you never met him, he always said it was to Jewish Christians holding on to the law with one hand and Grace with the other, and the apostle was using language a Hebrew could understand, such as cleanse and purify from the temple, most commentators agree with him , I have heard a few NNS Elders use it like you do, but not at the Churches I grew up in, PV,LR.LE my old home church still in the NNS believed in Election, by the foreknowledge of God, and did not preach works for salvation,others in that same association did advocate satisfying the wrath of God ,that Christ did not pay for our sins,we had to suffer for ourselves, that God was not all knowing, that men were born free moral agents, not free agents, but moral agents, I heard them say that Christ never was made sin, that his death only atoned for the Jews, Bro ALex Collier sang a man down for preaching Hell was on earth one time at P.V that if you put away your wife for any cause other than fornication, that,your heart would be so hard that you could never repent and there was no forgiveness for this. If you find this hard to believe ,talk to the moderator at Pleasant View and ask him if I speak the truth or not, you are right we ordain our own trouble, you will not hear preaching like the above in the Bethel Association nor did Mud River advocate such things, I don't believe in adultery but it is not the unpardonable sin, churches should be careful who they recive in that condition not to cause the church body to perish or be disturbed. If preaching salvation by Grace means I am a calvinist so be it, if it means believing in double election and predestination of all things to make God the author of wickedness, I am not, if it means, having to use man in salvation, I am not, If it means that God by ONE direct decree brings everything to pass both good and evil ,I am not, If it means that I belive that God had a direct decree and a decree to permit or suffer the enterance of sin, I will take that, if it means God predestinated the fall of adam then NO!!!! if it means God forknew the fall of adam and ordained that those who when his Grace appeared would through that Grace, his Spirit, his power believe to the saving of their souls ,be justified by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, that those people were given to his son in a covenant before the foundation of the world and are elected, or chosen to salvation, through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth, I am guilty of the charge, and be guilty of the charge which would you rather have preached to your children that God loved them with an everlasting love, and by his love and kindness he drew them,that salvation is free to all who come to Christ by him that election only excludes those who will not believe,who love darkness, who will not obey, who draw back to perdition,who look not to Christ, or wuold you rather they have a steady diet of they must satisfy the wrath of God and pay for their own sins, that they must get good enough for God to save them or that God is only a part Savior you must finish the job, those thing I heard preached to the point of being ill, call me a hardshell but I try to aleast preach the written word of God not some folks tale about not having shoes, and having to hoe corn all day, and that folksey tale if used to make a point or connected to some sound principle would be okay, but you must admit there are very few called men of God preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified, you would be better off Brother Bob to preach to your own congergation then to allow men that do not edfiy the church body to get in your stand just because they are in correspondence with you, I believe that you would preach the Bible and even if , I did not agree with your understanding of a subject or scripture it would still be better than what I listened to for years in some Regular Baptist churches not all. God Bless You to feed his lambs and sheep.Brother Slone
     
  17. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    Well, you have certainly explained our agreements and our differences in how we understand the scriptures.

    One thing I must comment on though and that is I hope you don't believe God will save a man while in the act of adultery,

    murder, worshiping a golden calf etc. That is why I say "cleanse your hands you sinners". I still believe a man has to repent

    and you can't do that without quitting adultery, etc. I don't believe God makes you repent, I don't believe the Lord was just

    talking to the Jews. Seems everytime someone don't like something they say well that was to the Jews.

    Jesus taught His Gospel to His Apostles and when He sent them out again to the whole world it was the same Gospel. We

    cannot cherry pick what we want from the Gospels and say the rest is to the Jews. The Church of Christ believe the Gospels

    are not to us, but I believe that are to us. This is in the book of James and I know to the tribes of Israel but there are a lot of

    scriptures in James: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in

    their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. I think you would agree that this scripture is to us about the

    Pure religion and its in the same book of James. I believe its to us and can see if someone believes that a man can't quit

    doing anything like adultery before being saved would want it to be to Israel.I will preach until I die that all men can go to

    heaven if they will believe that Jesus is the Christ, repent and be born again, not of a corruptle seed but by an incorruptle. I

    don't preach tales either and I am not one who spends all my time in the stand weeping trying to draw those by my tears. I

    preach the word so people will know the truth and let it fall where ever the Lord chooses to send it.

    I know if you heard me preach, you would disagree with quite a bit of my preaching for I preach salvation to all that will

    believe. I preach to the congregation that God loves you and its not His will that you perish. I preach the Gospel to every

    creature and he that believeth and is baptized (Holy Ghost baptism) shall be saved. Works don't save anyone and salvation is

    of the Lord (only and completely), but a man must believe. Since the beginning with Abel until now, man must have faith. I

    believe that God is an all knowing God and knew I would believe, therefore he not only called me but predestinated me to be

    conformed to the image of His Son, not only me but all that believed He predestinated them also to be conformed to the

    image of His Son, He justified me because of that belief, He will glorify me because of that belief that he knew of before I was

    ever born, but because He knew does not mean that he

    decreed it to happen. I had a choice to choose to walk after the flesh and die or walk after the Spirit and live. If I had to walk

    after the Spirit, why did God tell me to preach it if it was already going to happen. If I were prechosen, why in the world are

    we preaching to the people to repent? I don't understand that at all. Again, it is required of every man everywhere to repent

    and that includes all, if they want to go to Heaven and escape a devil's hell and the Lake of Fire.

    If I heard you preach, I would agree with most of everything you said, until you got on God decreed me to be saved along with

    a few others. You mentioned preaching to my children. I would want you to tell my children that God loves them and wants

    the to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ and that Jesus died for the sin of the world so they did not have to perish and for them

    to be saved they must believe this and repent or they will perish also.
     
    #457 Brother Bob, Dec 8, 2006
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  18. old regular

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    adultery

    I am not in favor of people living in any kind of sin , I do believe there is an innocent party at times in some marriage cases, some of our correspondence will not recieve a divorced and re-married person even if they put their former spouse away for fornication and married a clean companion, I believe the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, that we don't repent to get the gifts and calling of God but rather because we have recieved them, I don't think the cleanse ye hands verse is limited to just the Jews nor do I use the Jews to avoid a text like some do with ephesians chapter one, I do believe he is talking to the church and even it is Hebrews we should profit from it, sometimes when working outside a gnat would get in my milk and I would take it out, and finish my milk, but if a green fly got in my milk I dumped it out, so with preaching if someone preached that verse to the world and said that it was Christ blood they were to wash their hands in, and it was the Holy Spirit they were to purify their hearts with, and this they could only do through Grace and through the Spirit it would only be a gnat in my milk, and I would still finish the glass, if they preached that they by nature they were to cleanse their hands that would be a green fly, if a person has repented with a GODLY sorrow, then evidence of that would be that they have departed from evil and would not that be understanding caused by the fear of the Lord ?God quickens us in our sins and saves us from our sins,and the women caught in the act was to go and sin no more. I write these things for our understanding that we may look at where we are coming from, and I hope that my comments are not taken by anyone as to mean that I would be little a brother, Brother Bob I know what you would like for your children to hear but if that was not available and you do not have to answer, I would rather my children heard you preach than sommeone down the road saying repeat after me, or someone preaching that they must satisfy the wrath of God through their own sufferings, so what I am saying is there are preachers in your correspondence that have preached heresies, that far exceed the disagreements on this site, and even if I held your position fully, and felt that the other side of ORB were wrong, I would think sovereign grace would be easier to digest, than Christ did not die for our sins, you have to suffer and pay for your own. Bro. Mike
     
    #458 old regular, Dec 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2006
  19. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    I guess what I was asking Brother Mike is would you accept a drunk man in and baptize him?

    Oh, I think you preach what I preach and I believe in a Sovereign God that you preach. I just don't believe it takes away from

    God's sovereignity for Him to create man with the ability to choose. It is still Him doing it all. I could cleanse my hands all I

    want but it still would take Jesus to save me. I just don't think He would save me while I was in the act of adultery.

    I am one who takes the innocent party also. I believe what Jesus said "except the cause of fornication".

    If I told you I believe that man that was drunk should get sober before you receive him and baptize him, and that is what I

    mean by "cleansing hands", would you accept that?
     
    #459 Brother Bob, Dec 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2006
  20. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed New Member

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    I'm going to jump in this conversation with just a few comments.

    If someone comes to the church that is a known drunkard and asks to join the church, I would think that the church would have to examine the man to make sure he has left that lifestyle behind. If he is continuing to live in sin, whether by being a drunkard, or an adulterer, or what have you, then, no, the church can receive such a person as a member and authorize their baptism.

    However, that does not negate the fact that our baptism in water has nothing whatsoever to do with our eternal salvation. If a person feels the spirit within them leaning them to join the church, whether they actually submit completely and rid themselves of their sinful lifestyle and choose to join in this "heaven on earth" that we have in the church, that is evidence to me that they are a blood-washed child of God, disobedient though they may be.

    My grandfather was an alcoholic for 20+ years. He tried to quit about 2 months before he died because he so wanted to join the church and be baptised, but he knew he would have to give up that lifestyle. He would cry like a baby every Sunday because he knew he was living wrong. He had planned to join our church 3rd weekend September 1985 because we were having an annual meeting for which my grandmother's baby brother, an elder, would be attending. Papaw wanted Uncle James to baptise him. My grandpa died of kidney and liver failure on September 6, 1985, a month after he'd quit drink and 2 weeks before he was to join the church and be baptised.

    He may have never hit the water in baptism, and he may not have stayed off the alcohol this time (he'd tried to quit numerous times before), but my heart is completely satisfied that Papaw was a child of God and that he is living in the Holy City today.

    Church membership does not determine Heaven's population.
     
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