Most e-mails that I receive require no reply. They may be bulletins or items of interest that are simply being passed around the Internet. Of those that necessitate a response, some are requests for information or Bible questions. Occasionally, someone sends something bizarre, which prompts the question, “What do I do with this?” The first one, reprinted below, was a one-time correspondence from November 21, 2008. The writer occasionally quotes from me, and those are indented even further and italicized to stand out.
I am a parent searching for information on Max Lucado, because my son has recently been attending his church with his girl friend. I have never heard one of his radio broadcasts or read one of his books or been to his church myself.
We recently have stopped attending our church when financial records were exposed. I am really sick to death of greedy pastors living like millionaires on the money parishioners donated for good.
I came across your site and I am just shocked by you! I have spent the last three hours reading such contradictions, I can not even begin to put into words. I think that people like you spend way too much time with words and arguments. You must spend ALL your time with words just spinning in your head that you loose [sic] the meaning of them. Words mean many things to different people due to culture, language and time. One word can have multiple meanings. I think the biggest fault in human history is misinterpretation! The Old Testament and scripture can be misinterpreted or used to justify the KKK or to put fear into the average sheep herder for political gain and control. You get stuck on too many words and pointless points loosing [sic] site [sic] of what the message was as a whole. Are you in politics? Maybe you should be. Your comment concerning Ken Starr and Clinton really got my attention.
It never ceases to amaze me that the one who exposes error often times receives more criticism than the person who is actually the source of the problem, kind of like blaming Ken Starr for what Clinton did.
Are you insane? Ken Starr is tainted! His associates are tainted. He used corrupt testimony and leaked grand jury information. His motives, tactics and alliances defile the temple of justice!
Are emotions always bad? No, they can have great value if they are controlled and if they are in harmony with the truth. Unfortunately, however, such conditions are frequently the exception rather than the rule. When Joshua and Caleb reasoned with their brethren concerning faith and the power of God, it did not faze them. They picked up stones to kill them (Num. 14:6-10). Later, the children of Israel were determined to have a king. Samuel pointed out the problems that having one would incur. Did the people even listen? They responded immediately, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we may be like all the nations…” (1 Sam. 8:19b-20a).
Hummm, sounds a bit like our President Bush, and I think you should practice what you preach. I think you have gone beyond being the ”spiritually correct police.” I think it has become personal for you, or an obsession, a lot like Ken Starr…..
I am not defending anyone here. I do not claim to have any knowledge about you or Max, I am trying to get some “facts.” I am not the smartest person in the world, I do not claim to be perfect, but I am not blind either. Do you really think that what was meant by “beware of false prophets” means for us all to be watchdogs? Do you really think you are an equal to the prophets of Baal? It is obvious to me from this site you have created, that you ARE mean spirited and have an underlying hatred/jealousy for this man Max. That you thrive on insults or any attention this web site brings to you. Any other lessons or message has been tainted by your FEELINGS.
I am going to give my son the green light to attend this church. You just drove me to it. I plead “madness” because, I really do not get you at all. I have read enough here to show me that you do not speak the truth. You speak your truth as you see it or interpret it. Your site is sad for your church and your followers and you should be ashamed of yourselves. And, you should not be surprised that there was no further reply from these other letter writers supporting Max Lucado, they should not lower themselves to your level or waste anymore time with you, which is exactly how I FEEL!
Obviously this message was an “I can tell you off and make myself feel better” communication. It started in one direction, rambled all over the place, and finally came back to the subject. How can anyone respond adequately to such ravings? My reply was brief.
You seem unhinged. If you actually read any of the articles about Max Lucado, you would have seen that in many of them I quote his words, as is the case with anyone’s error that I warn people about. Was Jesus a watchdog (Matt. 7:15; 16:12; and chapter 23)? One can only imagine how you would FEEL about Him.
Of course, any reply would have been futile; for that reason I kept it brief and tried to find something that might get through to this person (the warnings that Jesus gave about false teachers).
It is obvious that the message was prompted by emotion rather than logic. Ironically, the anonymous soul who splattered words upon the electronic page quoted what I wrote about the lawful use of emotions, but ignored the comments altogether, saying they sounded “like our President Bush.” This non sequitur, along with the trashing of Ken Starr, reveals that the writer was as politically motivated as he or she was spiritually motivated to write. Furthermore, when one takes issues with Scriptures uttered by Jesus (Matt. 7:15), then they have allowed their emotions to carry them too far. The letter is an example of a person being controlled by his own biases.
This next letter is also strange in that the writer asks questions that he already knows the answer to. One would think he should have sent his letter to a Baptist instead of to me, also. Is the guy just putting me on, or is he serious? His last question may be a hint.
First off I do not know you from Adam. So anything that you recommend has to be backed up with scripture from the 1911 King James Bible.
My wife professed to be a Christian 25 years ago but refused to be baptized because the church her parents took her to sprinkled her when she was a baby. The Baptist Preacher that led me to the Lord convinced me beyond doubt that after I was saved that I needed to be scripturally baptized to follow Gods word. I did so, much to the dismay of my wife. She even hid or destroyed a certificate I was given after the Baptism.
For the next 20 years she tried to convince anyone and everyone that told her to follow the Ordinance of Believer’s Baptism. Every time we would start to feel comfortable in a church and sought membership she was denied membership because she did not partake in Believers Baptism. She would soon start finding fault with different members and even tried (unsuccessfully) to start an insurrection at one church. So we jumped from church to church.
During that time she went from the excuse of already being baptized as a baby; then went to the excuse that she didn’t like the way the pastor placed a handkerchief over the person’s nose before they were immersed; and lastly she spoke to a counselor who convinced her that the reason she was so adamant against being immersed was because she fell out of a boat when she was young. I find the last excuse unbelievable because she would often engage in a dunking contest in swimming pools, ponds, or lakes.
At some point she became acquainted with the seeker sensitive movement and began believing some of the unscriptural practices there. I’m not sure how it all came about but one fellow offered to baptize her in private. If you haven’t already gathered, she is very defiant of authority, whether it be a Preacher, Policeman, or any other authority.
We are now attending a very good Independent Baptist Church that strictly follows the Baptists’ Profession of Faith. I’ve learned that individually joining a church would be a recipe for disaster. We have been rightfully denied membership unless she is Scripturally Baptized. The church will not accept baptisms from other churches (including some calling themselves Baptist Churches) if they accept unscriptural baptisms (i.e., sprinkling, pouring, baptism of unsaved, or if their doctrine isn’t clear or scriptural, etc.). I’ve given up on trying to convince her myself. Several friends, including the pastor, have explained Scriptural baptism wonderfully using the Bible, illustrations, etc., and yet she refuses to accept truth.
So what scriptures would you recommend? Am I all wet?
The following answer was sent, in the event the inquiry was a legitimate one.
Below is a brief answer to your questions. Each observation is numbered, in case you want to refer to them in your reply.
1. If your wife does not like authority of any kind, then the rest of these answers seem like a waste of time, but as it pertains to authority, consider what Jesus taught:
a. He has all authority (Matt. 28:18). [You may look these up in the version you use.]
b. Jesus asks why people desire to call Him Lord but then do not want to do what He says (Luke 6:46). She cannot call Him Lord and then refuse to do what He says.
c. Jesus taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.
d. Jesus said that people need to believe and be baptized in order to be saved (Mark 16:16). If she refuses to be baptized, she is refusing to obey Jesus. She does not love Him, and He is not her Lord. He only saves those who obey (Heb. 5:9).
2. Where did Jesus authorize for a baby to be baptized? This practice lacks Biblical authority, which we need for everything we do (Col. 3:17).
a. Babies do not believe in Christ (Mark 16: 16).
b. They cannot repent of sins (Luke 13:3), which they do not have in the first place (Matt. 18:4).
c. They cannot confess with their mouths (Rom. 10:9-10).
d. They are not baptized of their own free will.
3. Baptism involves immersion, which is the way any Greek lexicon (dictionary) defines the word.
a. John baptized where there was much water (John 3:23). One does not need much water in order to sprinkle someone.
b. Baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:3-5). The burial and being raised up is important in this passage. Sprinkling does not fit the image.
c. Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and came up out of the water, which is totally unnecessary if sprinkling were all that was done (Acts 8:35-39).
Again, you suggest that the main problem is that she refuses to understand these things—that “she refuses to accept truth.” This is the heart of the matter. Without a love of the truth no one can be saved (2 Thess. 2:10). Perhaps if you point out the wisdom of accepting truth (Pr. 23:23) and show her what happened when people knew the truth but refused to live by it, it might help (Rom. 1:18-32, especially verses 21 and 25).
Let me know if any of these points have merit with you and her. I would like to discuss the nature of the church with you at some further time.
This last question was dated January 21, 2009. The reply was sent on January 25th, and to date there has been no further response.
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ALWAYS A WAY
Grace E Easley
There’s always a way, but we have to try.
Though life is a gift to you and I,
We can’t expect to merely sit,
With never an effort to merit it.
There’s always a way, though the going’s rough,
And only our best is good enough.
We haven’t the time to count each loss;
If the bridge is out, we swim across.
There’s always a way; life’s not in vain,
Though joy may be the twin of pain.
Whichever way we chance to go,
The Master walked it first, you know.
He simply wouldn’t put us here,
And then withdraw His tender care.
Whatever His dear Love may ask,
He makes us equal to the task.
For it is true He walks beside us
Through each dawn and eventide.
Though bones may bend and sight grow dim,
No thing’s impossible for Him.
And so whenever walls may rise
To block the sunlight from our eyes,
That is the time for us to say,
“Dear Lord, please help me find the way.”