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Monday 25th of September 2017

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Where is the blessedness?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Sunday, 05 June 2011 15:55

Today my mind feels somewhat nostalgic and ashamed. I am feeling nostalgic from looking back at all the spiritual moments in my life and the zeal that I had for my God and his cause. I feel ashamed because that zeal often feels to have left. When I look back at the zeal I possessed in years past I find myself nearly saddened at the apathy that can so easily creep into my heart. The words of hymn writer William Cowper define a prayer that my heart screams.


O For a Closer Walk With God
by William Cowper

1. O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

2. Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His word?

3. What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left and aching void
The world can never fill.

4. Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.

5. The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.

6. So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.


~JW

 
Implications of Allegorizing Adam and Eve
Written by Ben Winslett   
Friday, 03 June 2011 10:05

A friend shared an article on Facebook earlier today that caught my eye. The Title of the article read "Ken Ham Agrees With Athiests On Literal View of Adam and Eve." Knowing that Mr Ham is a leading proponent of the Genesis account of creation, this title caught my attention, prompting me to read the article.

Read the original article here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-agrees-with-atheists-on-literal-view-of-adam-and-eve-50773/

The story was, in fact, covering an ongoing debate between Old Earth and Young Earth proponents. Young Earth proponents, such as myself, believe the Biblical accounts of both the creation and fall of mankind, the flood, fall of Babel, etc. Old Earth believers consider the Bible a tricky metaphor, not to be taken literally, and view the earth's creation through the lens of modern scientific theory (which I would call "science falsely so-called"). The witty title brought out the fact that even Atheists who read Genesis chapter 1 realize that it was written in a way to be take literally, not allegorically.

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Great Quote
Written by Josh Winslett   
Saturday, 21 May 2011 08:53

While reading this morning I ran across an excellent quote that I thought I would share with y'all......

 

"I have no sympathy for, nor patience with, the statement that the church is just what the Lord would have it be, and that His ministers are doing just what is best, and according to His expressed will in regard to serving the church. Such statements make void the record of the scriptures in which the Lord reproves His people for neglecting His service and turning away from His altars. It is a rejection of the scriptures to say that it pleased the Lord for His ancient people to turn after idols instead of serving the true and the living God." -Elder Walter Cash, Support of the Ministry, August 15, 1917

 

~JW

 
Gird Thy Loins Up Christian Soldier
Written by Ben Winslett   
Monday, 11 April 2011 11:14

A dear sister called me this morning to share the following hymn with me. She said she had it on her mind for at least two weeks, and wanted to share it with me knowing the constant warfare ministers face. I was very much encouraged by the sweet words of this hymn.

The hymn is called "Gird thy Loins Up." The time is 8s and 7s, so it can be sung to tunes like "Ripley" (e.g. Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken) or "Australian Hymn." The hymn is 638 in Cayce's Good Old Songs and 78 in Old School Hymnal #12.

Enjoy and be encouraged!

Gird Thy Loins Up
Joseph Hart
#638, The Good Old Songs

1 Gird thy loins up, Christian soldier;
Lo! thy Captain calls thee out;
Let the danger make thee bolder;
War in weakness, dare in doubt.
Buckle on thy heavenly armour;
Patch up no inglorious peace;
Let thy courage wax the warmer,
As thy foes and fears increase.

2 Bind thy golden girdle round thee,
Truth to keep thee firm and tight;
Never shall the foe confound thee,
While the truth maintains thy fight.
Righteousness within thee rooted
May appear to take thy part;
But let righteousness imputed
Be the breastplate of thy heart.

3 Shod with gospel-preparation,
In the paths of promise tread;
Let the hope of free salvation,
As a helmet, guard thy head.
When beset with various evils,
Wield the Spirit’s two-edged sword,
Cut thy way through hosts of devils,
While they fall before the Word.

4 But when dangers closer threaten,
And thy soul draws near to death;
When assaulted sore by Satan,
Then object the shield of faith;
Fiery darts of fierce temptations,
Intercepted by thy God,
There shall lose their force in patience,
Sheathed in love, and quenched in blood.

5 Though to speak thou be not able,
Always pray and never rest;
Prayer’s a weapon for the feeble;
Weakest souls can wield it best.
Ever on thy Captain calling,
Make thy worst condition known;
He shall hold thee up when falling,
Or shall lift thee up when down.

 
In Good Company? (Church Hoppers and Unqualified Ministry)
Written by Ben Winslett   
Monday, 04 April 2011 08:34

I was reading an article last night on the subject of "Church Hoppers." A Church Hopper is a person who moves from congregation to congregation and never stays at one place for any great length of time. There are varying degrees of this, but it is a problem that exists on a many levels in American Christianity. The Hopper will begin attending, glory over the new church, and stick around just long enough to see some of the flaws in the membership (which all churches have - we are sinners) and then hop to the next congregation or order of faith. This seems to be a product of American culture. We place ourselves as the ultimate judge and authority while at the same time being totally impossible to satisfy.

In the article, the last paragraph contained what the writer thought were legitimate reasons to switch churches. Of course, to me, as a Primitive Baptist, I will attend no other type of church than a PB church. I sincerely believe that the first century Church was a Baptist Church. I believe Primitive Baptists possess the historic form of the Baptist Faith, both in doctrine and practice. It's a simple choice for me, I recommend attending the closest PB Church (or a close PB church - if there are multiple congregations) to home. If there is not a nearby church body, move to a location where there is a church body. It's a pretty simple solution and it solves the whole problem.

Among the writer's "legitimate reasons" to swap churches was "unqualified ministry." That provoked me to think "what is unqualified ministry??" What qualifies a man to preach? Well, in the denominational word of fast food Christianity (forgive if you must), a seminary degree qualifies a man to be a pastor. With no degree, a man is not "qualified." He is merely a "lay minister." But, is that what qualified the Apostles? Is that what qualified Titus, Barnabas, Silas, or Timothy? No, not at all. Do you know what qualified First Century men to the ministry? A God-call. Simple, isn't it!

Now, those men were to spend countless hours preparing themselves for this work by studying God's Word and prayer. But the qualification came directly from God Himself. God "opens their understanding" of the scriptures.

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures... -Luke 24:45

After the call to preach is given, the man studies with his pastor or "father in the ministry". He devotes his time and energy to learning the Bible and exercises his gift to preach by speaking to the church. He grows as a minister IN the Church. Where in scripture is the church commanded to outsource this responsibility to a college or university? No where! This is one of the church's primary duties! (See Titus 1:5)

But in reading the article, I was prompted to remember just how the Apostles were often received by unbelieving or carnal audiences. Did unbelievers perceive them as able, qualified speakers? Serious question. Notice how they were often accused of being rude, ignorant babblers.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. - Acts 4:13

Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. - Acts 17:18

For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. - 2 Corinthians 10:10

Don't confuse this with me putting a "premium on ignorance." I am not. I strive to present my sermons in an informed, articulate manner. Yet at the same time, if the carnal person or unbeliever thinks high of a minister, something is wrong! For if the greatest of the New Testament ministers, the Apostles, were perceived in such a light, how then should a normal elder be perceived by the surrounding culture? No better, I am sure.

 
Prayer Meetings and Bible Discussions
Written by Walter Cash   
Friday, 01 April 2011 11:14

An answer to a sister who asked about our churches having prayer meetings and Bible discussions: The Baptists, in the early days of this country, had prayer meetings, but of late they have been discontinued with few exceptions. It would be better if they were kept up. There are so few members in our churches who can lead in prayer in the introduction of service. It is in agreement with the Scriptures that teach much about prayer and the obligation to pray with and for each other. To be engaged in prayer would be much better than repeating gossip and talking foolishness. The prayer meeting might be combined with reading the Bible. As to Bible readings, I have had them in my churches for twenty-five years. When we meet, we read as many chapters as we can and talk about the passages as we read them, thus, having many profitable times together.

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Psalm 13
Written by Josh Winslett   
Monday, 21 February 2011 13:32

Psalm 13 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”

 

Over the past couple of weeks this has become one of my favorite Psalms. David writes of wrestling with the torturing thoughts of God leaving him alone with his sorrow. A sorrow that was not just a passing thought, a sorrow that daily renewed in his mind; a sorrow that ravaged him to the very core and depth of his soul. “How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?”

 

When the greatest problems surmount against us, they seem to come from every possible angle. Not only was David battling within himself, his enemies showed no compassion on his difficulty. They exalted over him with no care for his godly character or righteous countenance. “how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? “

 

David begs! He pleads! He feels as though he is at the point of death. Ah how life can prevail over us. His very reputation would be that he was a failure. They might say, “Is God’s blessings upon a man with so much trouble and suffering”? Even though David was a man after God’s own heart, people might view him as a dog or unbelieving heathen. “Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. “

 

What was David’s answer? Even in the strongest trials, David finds solace in the salvation of the Lord. It does not appear in this psalm that David would be taken from these dire conditions. Yet the prospect of an eternity with his God in righteous bliss caused his heart to cry out with joy. In this life we may have nothing but suffering, yet if by God’s grace we dwell with him in eternity; then God has certainly dealt bountifully to us. In view of God's salvation, may all of our hearts rejoice. “But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”

 

~Josh

 
Paul's Main Purpose
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 17 February 2011 08:55

"...I am set for the defence of the gospel." - Phil. 1:17

The Apostle Paul was not ecumenical in the least. If a doctrine detracted from the sole work of Christ as redeemer and Saviour, he confronted and demolished it in short order in his articulate manner. To Paul, "anything goes" was a lie. There is no such thing as relative truth.

So what is the gospel? In Jesus' own beloved words, the gospel is the good news that Christ came to die for specific sinners, chosen of the Father, who will be housed in Heaven's blissful world for all of eternity.

This, in conjunction with New Covenant worship as opposed to worship under the Law Service, was the single most important issue in Paul's ministry. Without this truth, all others crumble. The Glory of Christ is at stake.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:37-39

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. I and [my] Father are one. John 10:24-30

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:1-3

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30

 
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