- November 27, 2008
I suppose it was inevitable—changing the name of the Baptist General Convention of Texas to Texas Baptist Convention (Nov. 10). Yet the proposed name is so “generic,” no character at all.
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What is alarming, however, is the rationale of the Future Focus Committee—“there’s no one alive who remembers the story” and “little, if any, awareness of that history” of the current name. This “history” is the glue that keeps us together and tells others who we are. Should we remove “Baptist” from our churches? “Christian” from our name?
The danger is that we are losing our identity. I hope this recommendation will be defeated.
I question Trey Turner’s comments regarding the presidential election (Nov. 10). He isn’t alone in his view, and frankly, it irks my heart and spirit to hear this coming from someone who claims to be a Christian.
To Christians, the election of the highest office in America should never be about style, race, skin color or denominational affiliation, but about qualifications, leadership abilities and, above all, standing for traditional biblical morals. It sickens me to think of any Christian, regardless of race, voting for a candidate based solely because of race. I’m Anglo, but race has no bearing on who I vote for.
Our president-elect clearly supports homosexuality and abortion, both of which are biblically condemned. To elect someone who does not care about biblical values is nothing for a Christian to congratulate the nation over. Saul was crowned king when God told Israel they didn’t need a king. God gave them what they wanted to teach them a lesson. Saul was a terrible king. Perhaps God has given America what they wanted.
I agree with Turner that electing a black president will move America past some dark and lingering past, but that is a not a good motive for electing anyone.
I join Turner wishing Barack Obama well. I’ll pray for him as often as I can, and I, too, ask the Lord to guide and protect him and his family, but I’ll only support him on things that don’t conflict with God’s word.
Thanks for recognizing Catarino and Margarita Romero with such a fitting tribute (Nov. 3). And thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Romero for inspiring, well-lived lives. We are blessed by them.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Like Ron Phillips (Nov. 3), I have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This experience was wonderful, and I can’t begin to tell of the deep joy and happiness the baptism of the Holy Spirit affords.
Doctrinally, you can prove its validity in Scriptures. Jesus said in Luke 24:48 to stay in Jerusalem until clothed with power from on high. They waited until the Holy Spirit and tongues of fire fell as seen in Acts 1 and 2. Afterward, they witnessed with power to Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Our Baptist churches have strong love, powerful preaching, enlightening Bible studies, evangelism, being missional and everywhere spreading Jesus love! At the same time, we need to look carefully into God’s word honoring the Trinity fully to receive the spiritual gifts God has for us.
1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter on love, warning those who think tongues are “top dog.” Paul points out love ranks first! The baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t a sign of maturity, but God wanting to bless us to be used by him. God’s word has much to say regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I know we can be better equipped by discovering all he has for each of us!
Earthly citizenship only temporary
I am writing in response to Charles Reed’s letter, “Immoral & Unnecessary” (Oct. 27).
As Christians, Jesus tells us: “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” He didn’t tell us that we could necessarily discern truth from what the world tells us.
We are entitled to our opinions about politics and about how we feel about the war in Iraq and whether we see it as just or unjust. However, to call it illegal and to say that people lied about it, and then to espouse as truth a study that claims “more than a million civilians—mostly children” have died in the war all seems to be someone telling other Christians what the truth is.
Please do not assume that fellow Christians or that Baptists in general strongly support “one of the greatest evils in modern history” or that what one person believes is any more “true” than what others believe.
We must all search the Scriptures and our own hearts to know how to live in and respond to this world and those who are in it.
Thanks to David Packer for his reminder in “How to bring change to America” that we have dual citizenship. Let us remember always that our earthly citizenship is only temporary, but that we can make a difference while we are here, no matter what else is going on around us.