Current News Oct. 3
*Four Breakout Sessions Offered During BMA of Ark. Meeting (pg. 1)
Wade Allen – Ministry is hard. Pastors, deacons, lay-leaders — the struggle is no respecter of persons. Many of us find ourselves weighed down with the pressures of life and ministry, looking for a little extra time each day to study for the weekend, feeling woefully ill-equipped to give people the answers they seek or wondering how in the world we are going to deal with the most recent dispute in the church. We receive emails promising solutions for all our ministry problems. We seek out conferences designed to revive and equip us. We are constantly on the lookout for that “silver bullet” that will resolve all our problems, but these things often fail to bring the needed solutions to our dilemmas. Where do we turn? Is it possible that we simply need to turn our focus back to the Bible? We believe and teach the sufficiency of Scripture — that the Bible is all we need for faith and life — but is that belief demonstrated in our day-to-day lives and ministries? Does our behavior reflect a biblical worldview or a more secular one?
*Autonomous, But Not Alone (pg. 1)
Dr. Charley Holmes – What is the difference between the BMA and other groups of Baptists? I have been asked that question many times over my years as head of the seminary. However, the frequency has increased dramatically in the last two to three years. There is no way to read the minds of those asking, but my sense is that the question recurs as a result of the intense upheaval in Baptist life. In the last few weeks, I have posed that question to more than one pastor with terminal seminary degrees. Each time the answer has been, “I really don’t know; and the topics of independency, associationalism and conventionism were never addressed in seminary classes.” Astonishing!
*Endowed Scholarship Established For CBC WISH Circle (pg. 1)
The Conway Corporation Board of Directors recently approved a grant request from Central Baptist College in the amount of $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for the WISH Circle. The scholarship’s priority will be for women enrolling in CBC’s PACE (Professional Adult College Education) Program. “We are so thankful to Conway Corporation for their very generous gift to affect lasting change for women in our community through higher education,” said Sancy Faulk, Vice President for Advancement. The WISH Circle’s focus is on under-served women who may not have ever dreamed of a college education, but have the capacity and the drive to succeed. The WISH Circle exists to foster generational change in women and their families through education, to catalyze others to make change in their lives and to give women tools which make them more confident parents, employees and citizens.
*Restoring the Temple: Chest of Joash (pg. 2)
Dr. Charley Holmes – A friend of the seminary, Glen Tropp (pastor of Unity Baptist Church at Hope, Ark.), initiated the Chest of Joash at his church a number of years ago. The example of King Joash was to take offerings dedicated for repairs of the temple in Jerusalem. The biblically-inspired offering has been blessed over the years to keep the church’s facilities in a condition honoring to God. The seminary’s chapel and adjacent buildings need a Chest of Joash offering for ongoing repairs. This past year, by the generosity of our friends, the Dorman Memorial Chapel’s interior was completely renovated. The chapel had not had a facelift in 60 years! It was obviously greatly needed, and has been a blessing for our students and many guests over the last several months. (Special thanks go out to BMA Seminary Trustees Reggie Blake, Marvin Delk and Elaine Beal for a lot of consultation.)
*Don’t Change Me! (pg. 6)
Jeff Swart, President BMA of America – The late Chuck Colson (1931-2012) became a household name in the early 1970s because of his position as special counsel to then President Richard Nixon and his connection with the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Building in Washington, D.C. During this dark period in his personal and professional career, Chuck came to know Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. When released from prison, he became a published author and founded Prison Fellowship and Prison Fellowship International, ministries to the incarcerated. For many years, Chuck wrote a column for Christianity Today magazine. After he passed his 10th anniversary of writing for this widely read Christian periodical, Chuck was asked if he was still encouraged. He replied that his readers often encouraged him when they told him how his column had changed their lives. Then, Chuck went on to say, “However, I do feel like I am building sand castles in front of an incoming tide.”
You are Invited to Visit CBC (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – High school juniors and seniors are invited to experience Central Baptist College through our Stampede Preview Day on Oct. 3, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Stampede Preview Days are designed to give prospective students and their families an opportunity for a very personal experience of all that Central Baptist College has to offer. While designed specifically for high school seniors and juniors, all prospective high school students and their families are welcome to attend. Stampede Preview Day will offer a “day in the life” of a CBC student. Prospective students and parents will spend the majority of the day on campus and get to hear and see what students experience on a daily basis. If the Oct. 3 date doesn’t fit your schedule, the spring Stampede Preview Day will take place during homecoming activities on Feb. 8. The spring event is a personally interactive “come & go” style event that creates a wonderful environment for one on one connections with faculty, staff and administrators. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)
Leading with Missional Purpose (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – It was the day after Christmas in 1979 when my wife and I arrived at my first pastorate in Marion, Ill. To say that I was excited as we unloaded the U-Haul would be an understatement. The parsonage was small, but big enough for us as we focused on our new ministry with West Blvd. Baptist Church. The next day, I took my one box of office items to the church. The office was a tiny nook above the foyer area with a very steep stairwell. I had my “license” to preach and my freshly signed ordination certificate to hang on the wall. The rest of the box contained a name plaque my brother-in-law, David, had given to me to make me “official” and about 10 books to place on the bookshelves. It took about 30 minutes to get all set up, then I sat down in the chair behind the small desk thinking, “What do I do now?” I was overwhelmed with the realization that I did not have a clue what to do next.
Master’s Builders Complete Two Projects (pg. 3)
Nelda Malone – The Master’s Builders spent the week of Sept. 10-15 at Concord Baptist in Gilmer, Texas — their 155th project. Concord needed help with putting up sheetrock in their new building. They had lost their building in a fire over a year ago. The framing of the new building had already been done, so the Master’s Builders put sheetrock up in the entry, sanctuary, fellowship hall, bathrooms and four classrooms. Thank you to all the members of Concord. The fellowship was wonderful, and the meals you provided for us were delicious. Thank you to their pastor, Clay Potter and to Dale Pruitt, the building coordinator. I want the zeal for the Lord’s work that Brother Dale has!
“Not a Popcorn Movie” (pg. 4)
Editor – Pat and I went to a screening (sponsored by Arkansas Right to Life) of “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” last Thursday night; and we left the theater shaken. Although it has a PG-13 rating and was “crafted carefully so that it is not gory or scary and thus accessible for the widest possible audience,” it definitely isn’t a “buy some popcorn, sit back and enjoy” movie. But it is a movie that needs to be seen by everyone when it opens Friday, Oct. 12 in theaters in several states. It is currently scheduled in only three Arkansas theaters — Little Rock at Colonel Glenn 18 and Breckenridge Stadium 12; and Pine Bluff at Pines Mall 8. But the list is constantly being updated at gosnellmovie.com. The website lists this brief synopsis of the movie: “The film is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell — his 30-year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. Originally investigated for illegal prescription drug sales, a raid by DEA, FBI and local law enforcement revealed crimes they could not have expected within the clinic.”
Students Bake “Safe Abortion” Cupcakes (pg. 4)
Jerry Cox – On Sept. 28, we received a photo taken by a person at the University for Medical Sciences in Little Rock showing a tray of cupcakes next to a handmade sign reading: “Happy International Safe Abortion Day! Take a cupcake, read, enjoy! Future Health Professionals for Reproductive Rights” Attached to each cupcake were flyers with “Keep Abortion Legal,” “Normalize Abortion” and “Abortion Is Healthcare” printed on them, along with pro-abortion talking points. The cupcakes apparently were prepared by anonymous medical students, and were made available for others at UAMS. International Safe Abortion Day is an annual event created by abortion advocates. It falls on Sept. 28 of each year, and there are a number of pro-abortion groups and websites that observe it.
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
PP Forces Cancellation of Gosnell Screening; Ruling Bodes Well For Ark. Pro-Life Law; Evidence of Hebrew Exodus Found Near Jordan River; LifeNews Reports Three Pro-Life Victories
U.S. Jumps in Economic Freedom Ranking (pg. 5)
Chris Woodward – With the advent of the Trump administration, the United States has climbed up the ranks in terms of economic freedom. Currently, the United States ranks sixth in this year’s Economic Freedom of the World report produced by the Fraser Institute — a Canadian think tank. Fred McMahon, who serves as Dr. Michael A. Walker research chair of Economic Freedom with the Frasier Institute, announced America’s rise in the rankings. “The U.S. has returned to the top 10,” McMahon proclaimed. “It is now ahead of Canada, so it looks good. You’re moving up in the rankings. You’re higher than you were last year, both in score and in rank.” The 2018 report is based on data from 2016 — the last year of available comparable statistics… and the last year of the Obama administration.
Joshua 7: Messy Sin (pg. 5)
Becca Watts – What makes sin so messy? There are lots of bad things about sin. Our largest concern should obviously be the fact that God hates sin. He despises it. Plus, it interferes in our relationship with Him. We should want nothing to get in the middle of that. But within the mess of sin another important thing should stand out — consequences; the kind of an earthly nature. One of the consequences of sin is that it gets in the way of our relationship with others. It can cause as much mess in the lives of those around us, as it does in our lives. Because of that, it impacts our relationships with the people we love. Scripture gives us a great example in Joshua 7 with the story of Achan, a man who sinned because he deliberately disobeyed God. That sin cost the nation of Israel thirty-six men and a military defeat. It put a huge wedge between Achan and his people, and even bigger wedge between Achan and God. God had the nation of Israel stone Achan, his family and all of his animals, then burn everything that was left.
Threat, BMA Minister, Dies (pg. 5)
Jerry O. Threat, 72 of Haynes, died Sept. 28 after being in poor health for a year and a half. He was a member of Haynes Baptist Church and had been in the ministry for almost 47 years. He was saved in 1956, and surrendered to the ministry Oct. 31, 1971. He was ordained Sept. 9, 1979 by Haynes Baptist Church. He held a doctor’s degree in ministry and pastored several churches, including Old Hickory at Morrilton, Plumerville at Plumerville, Wye Mountain in Little Rock and Haynes at Haynes. Bro. Threat was a United States Air Force veteran and was retired from the Forrest City Post Office. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Viola Maxwell Threat; five brothers — John E. Threat of Forrest City; Jack Threat of Petal, Miss.; N.E. Threat of Atlanta, Ga.; J.B. Threat of McRae; and Sam Threat of Palestine; two sisters — Martha Walls of Forrest City and Elaine Stowell of Fayetteville. Funeral services were held Sept. 30 at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel in Forrest City. Interment was at Forrest Park Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to Haynes Baptist Church, P.O. Box 551, Haynes, Ark. 72341.
Davenport Ordained (pg. 5)
Stephen Davenport, who earned both his MAR and MACM from BMA Seminary (BMATS), was ordained to the ministry Sept. 23. He is the new pastor of Enterprise Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas. Members of the presbytery included these men with BMATS connections: Dr. David Hellwig, Dr. Ronnie Johnson, Dr. David Erickson and Dr. Jim Shine (full-time and adjunct faculty); Dr. Charley Holmes, president; Dr. Philip Attebery dean; Chris Proctor, business manager; and Dr. James Blaylock (recently retired library director).
Preach Tithing (pg. 6)
Dr. Allen Tilley – “Pastor, all you do is preach on money!” Like all exaggerations, that is not true. However, I never apologize when I do. Pastors are often hesitant to preach on finances because of statements like the one above. If you don’t preach on tithing, let me share four reasons why you should start: It’s biblical. From reading Mal. 3:8-10, we learn God certainly didn’t have a problem with preaching about tithing, and neither did Paul in I Cor. 9:13-14. During his earthly ministry, Jesus expected and commended tithing (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42). As preachers of God’s Word, we must preach the entire counsel of His Word, not just the parts people like. Don’t let the doubters distract you from delivering God’s truth.
Call Their Names Instead Of Calling Them Names (pg. 6)
Dr. Tony Cleaver – I was talking to a state denominational leader yesterday, and he asked me how our new church was doing. Well, 30 minutes later, after I got through with the “good” things the Lord is doing at our church, I started on the “great” things God is doing at our church. I told him that, in our church, we call the names of our denominational workers in prayer. We ask God to assist them in their work for our association. We pray for missionaries and for missions. We regularly thank God for the work of the BMA of America. I then asked him how long it had been since he attended a church that did that. He told me he had had a conversation that morning with another denominational leader, and each had concluded that a lot of people called them names. I was struck by the frankness of his admission, and I believe what he told me was actual and factual. As members of the BMA of America, we sometimes call our denominational workers names instead of calling their names out to the Lord who loves the world.
Excuses (pg. 7)
Paul White – Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the excuses people use when ask about their relationship with God. Excuse #1 — Just as soon as I get my life in order, then I will become a Christian. Answer: Nothing should be allowed to cheat one out of Heaven’s blessings. Property should not kill the privilege of being a child of God. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). God called one man a fool to his face. “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20.) He was the man that neglected his soul’s welfare by building barns, enlarging crops and feeding his soul on corn. The following scriptures may also be used: Matt. 6:33, Psa. 1:1-2, Prov. 29:25 and Mark 10:29-30.
A Lasting Investment (pg. 8)
Dr. Gary O’Neal – One spring, while serving as youth pastor for a church in Massachusetts, my wife, Lynn and I loaded up a group of teens and headed for Florida to tour a Bible college. While there, the college had planned activities for the youth — one of which involved a contest to see who could build the biggest and most impressive sand sculpture. Scattered out on the beach were hundreds of young people and their sponsors, all feverishly working for hours to create their masterpieces. In the end, who won? The ocean. If you visited the beach the next day, you would have found no trace of all the time and energy that had been expended the day before. Too many times, life can feel the same way. We can invest huge amounts of time and energy into projects, only to see them crumble before our eyes. If we aren’t careful, this can lead us to discouragement and even to quitting on important projects in our lives.
Sign Ups Open For SOAR 19 Prayer Teams (pg. 8)
Intentional prayer — that is the heart and vision for Kristen Riddle throughout this year and in to SOAR 2019. Her dream is to gather a community of believers who are passionate about interceding on behalf of SOAR students, youth pastors and staff. She is praying for and anticipating lives to be changed for Christ, and wants to bring others alongside her. “God tells us to come to Him with our requests. He tells us that He will bless that,” said Riddle. Sign-ups are now available for the two teams that will be a part of this prayerful effort — Prayer Warriors and Prayer Partners.
Gift for Pastor’s Appreciation Month (pg. 8)
Activate Team – We love pastors. The sacrifices they make for their congregations affect each church member personally. Their surrender to serve Christ, discipling and shepherding their flock, deserves to be appreciated. October is Pastor’s Appreciation Month. What better way to love on your pastor and his wife than to send them on the Church Leaders Cruise, which will allow them to rest, relax and recharge, all while being poured in to by excellent speakers and directors of the BMA? Pastor burnout is a real and present issue in our culture. A 2018 study from the Barna Group discovered that pastors are more likely to feel mental or emotional exhaustion than the average worker (75% versus 55% for the average person). Additionally, the study found that nearly half of pastors have struggled with depression, and 47% struggle to find time to invest in their own spiritual health.
Marching Orders (pg. 8)
Donny Parrish – When Jesus had completed His ministry on earth and before He returned to the Father, He gave the local church its marching orders. (Matt. 28:19-20) At Lifeword, our mission is to help the local church fulfill that great mission. Currently, Lifeword is producing Gospel broadcasts in 42 languages to 121 countries of the world. In fact, 2 billion people — almost a third of the people of the world — can hear and understand a Lifeword broadcast in their heart language. Over 100 unique Lifeword programs are being shared along the Lifeword Network every day. And now, through the Lifeword Cloud, we are anticipating being able to increase our broadcast footprint by over 200 languages within the next five years. October 21 is Lifeword Sunday! I pray that you and your church family are planning on joining the Lifeword Team in a day of praying and giving to Lifeword. If your church hasn’t registered for this important day for Lifeword, let me urge you to do that right now at lifeword.org. God bless you as you serve Him today! There’s a big world out there who needs to know that Jesus saves! At Lifeword, we tell the story!