Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bits and Pieces

The last few days it has been hard for me to find the time to post. But, in the meantime, I have come across a few items that seem to me to be significant enough to pass on to you.

It is ironic that, shortly after writing in my last post, with no idea of what was about to come out, that "back a few years ago, the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals made headlines in Spain, even though no one in Spain had ever even heard of them before the stories broke," the story on Ted Haggard began to surface. Now, sure enough, there are also stories in the major Spanish newspapers about Ted Haggard as well. If you read many blogs, you are already aware that there are a plethora of different viewpoints and thoughts on this tragedy available for reading on the blogosphere. Of what I have read, the post that resonates most with me is what Tim Challies has written here. I believe it will be well worth your while to read carefully through what Tim has to say in this excellent post, and take into consideration the implications for your own life.

Next, although of a complete different nature than the Haggard story, the name Bill Harrell has been making quite a splash among Southern Baptist blogs as of late. Harrell is currently Chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, considered by some to be "the most important position in Southern Baptist life." The most widely circulated stories are related to recent comments he made regarding the supposed "two most important issues" of problems of Calvinism and contemporary worship styles in our churches. Even more disturbing to me, though, is what Harrell writes on his church’s website concerning what he considers to be "A Major Deterrent to Revival," which he identifies as multiculturalism in our society. Upon reading this, I could not believe my eyes. This, in my opinion, is totally anti-biblical, and yes, I will venture to say, bigoted.

I hope to put up some more substantive thoughts of my own in the next couple of days regarding how I believe God uses immigration and cultural diversity in a special way to accomplish his purposes in the world (just the opposite of what Harrell seems to be saying). In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you read the insightful comments of Nick Kennicott, Alan Cross, and Les Puryear on this important issue for Southern Baptists.

Last of all, my friend and mentor, George Verwer, has just posted an article on Denominations and Denominationalism that I think is worthy of reflection as well.

12 comments:

GuyMuse said...

I agree with your strong reaction about what are supposedly the two most important issues in the SBC. "Caught in the Middle" has a great cartoon here which speaks loudly to the multiculturalism issue supposedly being a detriment to revival in our society.

tl said...

This is the message from Bro. Harrell as found in Google Cache. I have put one phrase in bold.

I think the point he misses is that the nations...as in the Great Commission's "panta ta ethne" have come to the USA and they must be converted before they can be revived.

****************************
A Major Deterrent to Revival PDF Print E-mail
There has been much discussion lately about the fact that revival is desperately needed in our churches and in our land at large

Many have been lamenting the fact that the revivals of yesteryear which had such an effect on our society at large, are not occurring today. “If we could only have another Great Awakening; a general national revival, we would be all right as a country” is what we hear people saying. There is a growing awareness of the fact that nothing short of a true national revival will rescue our nation. America has fallen so low spiritually and morally that we cannot rescue ourselves. Our politicians don’t know what to do with the mess we have created. So, more and more, people are acknowledging that a national, God-sent revival is necessary to preserve the land and rebuild the moral and spiritual strength of America. May I suggest what I believe to be one of the major deterrents to a revival occurring in America in this day and time.

Revival is being deterred in America today because of our multicultural makeup which has become the politically correct model for us to follow. Let me be quick to point out the obvious: America has always welcomed people from all cultures to come to these shores and enjoy the freedom and prosperity we possess. During the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s Ellis Island welcomed millions into this country and we found strength in those people. They came here to work and make a new life for themselves and most of them succeeded in that venture. But, those people came here to be Americans. They, by and large, adopted the frame of mind about being American which bonded them to all others. They joined the family and were welcomed. For them to come here and maintain their own nationality and foreign way of life was not something that the mass of these people saw themselves doing. They were becoming American. They were not coming to these shores in order to have a free place to bring their own society in among us and never change anything about their lives. The Chinese as well as the Germans, Italians and Jews all had “pockets” where their former culture was predominant but they saw themselves as operating within the scope of American life.

In today’s PC environment we have something quite different. Ethnic groups feel that they can move into America and maintain their culture. They see America as just another geographical place where their culture exists. There is little thought of changing and adopting American ways of life. Their customs are never changed at all. Their dress is unaffected even though it separates them from the society at large. Their language remains the same with no desire to make English their primary language. So, what we have is a multicultural society which is quickly losing its primary identity because our leaders are not setting a standard as to what is expected from those who come here. Multiculturalism will destroy a country because, after so long a time, the country no longer knows exactly who it is. We should demand that those who come to America learn the English language. One symptom of our danger is easily observed in that we change the roadway signs to reflect both the Hispanic and English instructions. This is America and I think they should be printed in English. When a person calls most companies today they will be instructed to press a certain digit on the phone if they want to hear the instructions in English. That is backward. If a person wanted to hear instructions in Spanish, they should be the ones to press a certain digit. The first instructions given over the phone are in Spanish and then the English speaking person is told to stay on the line if they want English. Something is wrong here. It mirrors what we are doing in America. We are accommodating multiculturalism. We simply are too sensitive and feelings oriented to tell a person that they are different from the society at large and that they need to adjust. We don’t want to commit the greatest crime of today which is hurting someone’s feelings.

The same is true of religion. The people who come to America should understand that we are a Christian nation. We were founded upon Christianity and the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible. All a person has to do is to go read our founding documents and read the statements of many of our founding Fathers. There is no one who is intellectually honest who could come to any other conclusion. Yet, other religions are invited to come here and worship with freedom. We welcome them and give them the American right to freedom of religion. But Christianity is being crowded out by the other world religions. We can’t function as we always have in the past because of the PC idea that if even one person is offended by something we do, we must cease to do it. If I travel into a Muslim country and attend a meeting, I would expect that a Muslim prayer would be offered. I would not be offended by that since I should expect that that would be the case. But in America, which was founded as a Christian nation, we are no longer free to pray openly in any venue because we have adopted the PC model of multiculturalism and we might hurt someone else’s feelings in some way if we pray in the Name of Jesus. They came to America. They should expect that it would be so.

Now, let’s get to the revival question. In the past, when a revival came in America or in an area, it was a Christian revival since the preponderance of people were Christian. So, since the most of society identified itself as Christian everyone came closer to responding to the effects of the revival and therefore a Christian revival occurred. But today, if we have a Christian revival, much of society will be unmoved. Because of our multiculturalism, which in large part expresses itself in the religious realm, large segments of society will remain unaffected or uncaring about the revival. If the Christians were revived, that is only a portion of the societal makeup. Much of the nation would be unmoved. They are maintaining their own religions with Christianity being classed as no more than one among many. It is no longer viewed as the predominant religion of America and has been relegated to another status. If the Christians in the 1700’s and 1800’s as well as the first half of the 1900’s had a revival then the whole nation was affected. But today much of the nation would hardly pay us any attention. We have failed to hold Christianity up as the religion upon which the founding documents of this nation were grounded.

So, revival such as has been seen in the past probably won’t happen again apart from a mighty act of God. We should pray that God would supernaturally intervene and bring a national revival to our midst. That is the only thing which is going to save this great country. The pagan religions living among us know nothing about revival but Christians do and we should pray and pray that God would bless us with a heaven sent national revival.

William F. Harrell

David Rogers said...

tl,

Thanks. I had originally added the note: (*it looks like this article may have since been removed) to the post, after the link to Harrell's article. It looks like the the article is now back on-line, though. In any case, thanks to your help on this, we have the text preserved here, in case it gets lost in cyberspace again.

Debbie said...

I'm finding out a lot of things concerning leaders in our Convention that astonish me, this being the latest and the most sickening to me.

This is even more reason for me to believe we need a "Great Awakening."

antonio said...

hmm, what happened to just plain oh sin being our problem.

JohnJaxtheBaptist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

You are right about Brother Harrell with the SBC ExCom. I re-read Brother Les's post and went back and told him I agreed that Brother Harrell's view are not what SB would agree with. You are right it does come across as bigoted.

Also, on Rev. Haggard I placed a post on my blog that I use for the church I pastor. It is more in line with examination and accountability. www.ybcvoice.blogspot.com

Blessings,
Tim

stepchild said...

Really, THE most important issues? Maybe we should invite him to Western Europe. Maybe he'd benefit from seeing things from a different perspective. Seriously.

Strider said...

One thing that Bro Harrell said that is true is that revival will take a mighty move of God. I am confused as to why he thinks that in the past it was otherwise. I am so offended by the article I can hardly trust myself to write a comment but I feel that many must speak up and declare the truth. The truth is that the judgment of God is on the church not for not trashing homosexuals and abortionist enough but for not reaching out in love to the Nations that He has brought to our shores. NO NO NO we do not need the American Government to pass certain laws to enable revival to come. We need to humble ourselves and accept that when God comes He will not bring revival as we expect. He is not coming to take sides, He is coming to take over. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Bryan Riley said...

I think his words should be a basis for discipline and agree with your assessment of what they are. Of course, discipline is to be gentle and to correct, not to punish, just as Ted Haggard is being disciplined. We need to all be praying for repentance in and throughout the Body of Christ. And, we need to pray that the thoughts and words being done "privately" within our churches and fellowships that are inconsistent with the nature and character of God be made public.

Bryan Riley said...

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:1-10.

David Rogers said...

John "Jax",

Great to hear from you! Yes, it has been awhile. So, I see you are back in Jacksonville. No, I did not know about the Bob Gray story.

I look forward to staying in touch with you again.

David