June 2014

Thank God for Gardner-Webb University

June 18 2014 by Eddie Hall, Spartanburg, S.C.

As a former student of Gardner-Webb University (GWU), I thank God for the love they showed me while I was there.  Growing up in a legalistic Southern Baptist church and attending a conservative college in South Carolina who did not show the love of Jesus, GWU was a place where I was healed in many ways.
The professors always had an open door where I could come and talk to them about anything and many times would take the time to pray with me. After my skiing accident, I went to the business office and the love they showed me there working with me to get my books and tuition was uplifting.
It showed me how beautiful the church can be. The [Southern Baptist Convention] needs to get over its obsession with homosexuality. Now that I am pastoring, I realize there are a lot more urgent issues that face the church.
As Christians, we need to let our light shine for Jesus by loving others no matter who they are. It is not our job to change people. We simply need to love and pray for everyone. I am thankful and always will be for Gardner-Webb University. 

Eddie Hall
Spartanburg, S.C.

6/18/2014 10:37:33 AM by Eddie Hall, Spartanburg, S.C. | with 3 comments

Concerned about make-up of NAMB task force

June 3 2014 by Hershel C. Johnson, Trenton, N.C.

I write with reference to the item in the Biblical Recorder for May 24 entitled “Task force addresses declining baptisms.” I have many observations and questions about this article, but I will touch on only three – each related to the make-up of the group. I commend these people, and I have no doubt about their serious attitudes and desires to see people saved. It is rather the omissions that I wish to deal with.
About 60 percent of Baptist churches’ congregations are made up of those over 55. How many people on the task force are under 55?
In any church, whether Baptist or not, the vast majority of people in a worship service are lay persons. How many laymen are on the task force?
My third and most consequential question relates to women. Since I was baptized more than 60 years ago, I have held membership in six Baptist churches in four states. My wife Elizabeth and I helped begin two missions, one Chinese and one Cambodian when we lived in Maryland. While serving over 20 years in Japan, we were members of four Baptist churches and helped the Japanese begin three missions. Then and now, in every case the congregation has more women members than males. Yet, this task force is composed only of men. How can this be?
Finally a simple summary: as a layman, I can say that the view from the pulpit is quite different than the one from the pew. I speak also as a layman who stood in that pulpit two or three times each month for those years in Japan.

Hershel C. Johnson
Retired missionary to Japan, Trenton, N.C.
6/3/2014 9:55:02 AM by Hershel C. Johnson, Trenton, N.C. | with 1 comments