September 2008

Ruby Fulbright, a person of impeccable character

September 23 2008 by Patricia Dunn, Greenville

Ruby Fulbright, executive director/treasurer of WMU-NC is a person of impeccable character and the highest integrity that is absolutely beyond reproach. The tone of the Biblical Recorder article titled WMU letter exchange in the Aug. 30 issue (page 5), written by Norman Jameson, seems to cast doubt on her integrity.

I find this unfounded. She has a heart for and a commitment to missions. Her life's work is proof of this. She and her husband were Southern Baptist missionaries to Zambia for 10 years. Through her work with and for WMU-NC, she displays an honorable and trustworthy example of a Christ follower. I have known Ruby Fulbright for over 15 years, both as a fellow church member and as director of discipleship training of my church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Greenville. So I know wherein I speak.

Supposedly, according to the article, at issue is where materials to support the North American and International Mission boards' special offerings will be available. The bottom line is the promotional materials will be available through the state WMU office, as they have always been. There is only one WMU organization per state and it will serve as the distributor of the special offering materials.

"WMU national works through the state organizations (as Ruby Fulbright has maintained) but retains just a small amount of materials that may be available for direct distributions to some churches."

Leading Baptist readers to think that Ruby Fulbright would mishandle the promotional materials that support our beloved missionaries is an injustice to her and to your subscribers.

Patricia Dunn, Greenville

9/23/2008 3:52:00 AM by Patricia Dunn, Greenville | with 9 comments

Ministry not limited in bi-vocational pastorates

September 23 2008 by Cecil Hopps, Marshall

I would like to take issue with a Sept. 13 article in which Mr. Tomlin mentioned the limitations of bi-vocational ministry. He believes it is better to be pastor of two churches, than to have a pastorate and a secular job.

I have been bi-vocational for 29 years and let me say you are not limited by requirements in the secular world if you are where God wants you to be! The churches I have served have not been hurt because of my secular work. You have the freedom to minister and preach just as any fully funded pastors have and a lot more "freedom" to serve God.

I chose to be bi-vocational when God called me into the ministry. Having served for three years as a fully funded pastor, I would not go back to that nor would I want to serve two churches at one time. That would be a lot harder than being bi-vocational to me.

Lester Evans works with bi-vocational pastors with the Baptist State Convention. I thank God for him. He works with us on the BSC bi-vocational pastors and wives retreat as well as the Appalachian bi-vocational celebration, which meets every two years and includes pastors from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and West Virginia.  

God calls us to serve in different ways and to use our gifts and as Paul states, "We  are all co-laborers together with God."

I am glad, Joey Tomlin, that God called you to pastor two churches, but  the bi-vocational pastor is just as important to God as the fully funded pastor or the pastor of two churches.

Cecil Hopps, Marshall

9/23/2008 3:50:00 AM by Cecil Hopps, Marshall | with 0 comments

Lamar King comments reminds reader of when he got saved

September 23 2008 by Lawrence Helms Turner, Asheville

I like what Lamar King wrote in his comments for the Sept. 28 lesson (BR, Sept. 13), "In becoming a Christian, we laid down an old life and began a process of giving up those things that characterized that old life. This 'letting go' was not a sad but a joyous experience."

This made me remember when I got saved. I wanted to be what God wanted me to be. I was so happy to be forgiven. I loved my Lord Jesus Christ with my whole heart, soul and mind. After 40 years, I still love "letting go" for Jesus, not holding to stuff or anything in this world.

We need to share this "joyous experience" more from the pulpit and with each other in the pew.

Here's hoping we all learn to love and trust Jesus more with each day.

Lawrence Helms Turner, Asheville

9/23/2008 3:48:00 AM by Lawrence Helms Turner, Asheville | with 0 comments

What's the battle for the Bible?

September 23 2008 by Max O. Welborn, Yadkinville

I read with interest the front page article (BR, Sept. 13) on Pastor-Pew disconnect. I would like to know what the "battle for the Bible" means and if the battle is really over. Who won?

Max O. Welborn, Yadkinville
9/23/2008 3:44:00 AM by Max O. Welborn, Yadkinville | with 0 comments

Thankful for Howard story

September 9 2008 by Ned L. Mathews, Wake Forest

Thank you for the outstanding contribution on the life of Charles Howard. His influence on many of us is remembered with great fondness and I include myself especially. It was evident when I heard him preach that his life was a reflection of what he preached and both were sterling.
Dr. Jonas’ article brought back memories of the blessedness of hearing him expound the Scriptures.  His illustrations and citation of great poetry added power to his presentations.

Ned L. Mathews
Wake Forest
9/9/2008 7:00:00 AM by Ned L. Mathews, Wake Forest | with 0 comments

Private wealth reduces poverty

September 9 2008 by Robert Louis Edwards, Raleigh

I was appalled by Tom Ehrich’s “A long overdue conversation” (BR, Aug. 2) which questioned the ethics of private property. This is another example of Jesus Christ being replaced by Karl Marx, in the advocacy of the social gospel.

Mr. Ehrich needs to understand that the humane social values developed by and practiced in the free, Christian world developed only in those countries which protect private property. The intelligent use of private property has created the vast wealth by which the free world has reduced poverty and improved human life (surely pleasing to God).

Conversely, those countries that have replaced private property rights with collective societies are poverty-stricken, unstable and filled with unhappy people desperate to come to America.
Some suggested reading on the subject: J.M. Roberts’s Triumph of the West and Rodney Stark’s Victory of Reason.

Robert Louis Edwards

9/9/2008 3:57:00 AM by Robert Louis Edwards, Raleigh | with 1 comments

No more snappy slogans

September 9 2008 by Pat Purdy, Maiden

As a recovering political junkie, I am struggling these days. It would be nice to just tune it all out, but my Christian responsibility to be and act as a good citizen will not allow that. The challenges facing our nation and the world today are more than ever calling God’s people to stand upon His word and to stand up for Christ Jesus.

As a nation we are facing many perils today. From within ... Nothing is of greater concern than the fact that the holocaust of the unborn continues unabated. With so many millions having such a tenuous respect for the sanctity of human life, as a nation we are morally deep into the fourth quarter. From without ... More so than any other external threat, Islamic jihad is on our doorstep and presents us with a peril we have never seen. Yes, there are some moderate and peace-seeking Muslims in the world, but the reality is that the Qur’an calls its adherents to war against all infidels.

So, what or who is the answer? The fact is that the arena of politics, left on its own, will always offer an inadequate response. The truth is this nation is in desperate need of a transformative Christ-centered spiritual revival. As Christ’s church, we must take the lead in healing the land and become once more seriously mobilized and committed to offering Christ to the world. I am not proffering an excuse to stay away from the polls on Election Day. But, as Christians, we need to understand that the real answer is evangelism and in The Great Commission we have our marching orders. It’s past time to get busy — the world is counting on us!    

Pat Purdy

9/9/2008 3:55:00 AM by Pat Purdy, Maiden | with 0 comments

Glad for ministry to ousted pastors

September 9 2008 by Jerry Oxendine, Gastonia

To your Aug. 16 news brief (printed issue) on ministry helping ousted pastors, I say it is about time. Pastors are not infallible, but often they are caught in the church’s “power clique” that believes it is up to them to run the church and fire the pastor. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

There is no such thing as a “board” of deacons, or a sitting board of executives and many deacons have no clue to what the office or the title actually means. Yet often some pompous deacon asks the preacher to resign simply because he doesn’t like his style or leadership. How shocked would these small-minded “deacons” be to learn that “deacon” actually means one who waits on tables, or simply “servant?”

When pastors are asked to resign or confronted during a quarterly business meeting, it often turns ugly. It’s not only the pastor who gets hurt, but his family. What of that 13-year-old son who may not be able to say anything about what is going on, but with suppressed rage and clenched fists rejects the church and Christ?

There were no “ministries” to help pastors in 1962 when it happened to me and my family. I was even manhandled by one of those pompous “deacons” and for years, I too, rejected God and the church that my Daddy served for 70 years.

It took many years of reckless living and outright rebellion for me to find my way back to my Lord. It was wrong of me, but you could not have convinced me of that in those years of hate and sin.

How many other preacher’s kids reacted the way I did? Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if such a ministry had been around in 1962?

Jerry Oxendine

9/9/2008 3:53:00 AM by Jerry Oxendine, Gastonia | with 1 comments