While it is true that almost everyone in America knows of Jesus Christ, far fewer actually know him.
The lingering images of Jesus Christ tend to be revived only twice a year and more by custom than faith, of course. In the early winter, people shower each other with gifts while being reminded that the babe in the manger is the reason for the season. Then in the spring, many of them take a few moments one Sunday morning to contemplate the crucified and risen savior.
Continue reading » Away From the Manger
In August of 2000, in the midst of the controversy stirred by the publication of the “Open Letter” on the Creation “Days” controversy, I penned an editorial entitled Honor in Controversy. In the article I pointed out the carnal tactics to which some resorted at that time. I sought to point out the need for brethren to behave righteously during times of controversy as we discuss differences which exist. It is a lesson that needs repeating time and again.
It is inappropriate for any child of God to behave in less than a righteous manner. Peter wrote, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12). The term “honorable” in the passage (translated honest in the KJV) is defined by Vines, “good, admirable, becoming, has also the ethical meaning of what is fair, right, honourable, of such conduct as deserves esteem” (Vines, Vol. II, pge. 229).
It is important for Christians to be “fair” and “right” in their dealing with others, especially brethren. This is what God expects of us. Further reading in 1 Peter 2 reveals this, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (vss. 15-17).
Continue reading » Editorial: Honor in Controversy (Revisited)
Much has been preached and written on the first chapter of Genesis by men who are more qualified than I, and are much better known. However, the controversy seems to be growing rather than abating.
Some think the days described in Genesis one may not be seven consecutive twenty-four hour days. They try to reconcile creation with current scientific conjecture. Paul warned us that having this much unquestioning faith in science is a dangerous road to travel (1 Timothy 6:20-21). With all the conflicting teaching, I know of no one who does not believe that God has the power to have accomplished the creation in six literal, twenty-four hour days. Those who find problems with the literal days say other scriptures make it improbable, if not impossible, for the creation to have occurred in six literal days (God resting on the seventh). They attempt to reconcile the discrepancy by saying that even if each item of God’s creation had been in an embryonic, or youthful, state and then allowed to mature (evolve) until time for the next day’s creation, it would still have been God doing the work – part miraculously, and part through his laws of providence. If we but give him the credit, he will not mind what we believe (has a familiar ring, doesn’t it?). Of course, since creation was not completed until after the sixth day, all his providential laws would not have been enacted and in force on day one, two, three — in fact until all creation was complete. Even without all his natural laws being in force, this maturing, or evolving, still occurred and could have taken thousands or millions of years.
Continue reading » Moses and the Days of Creation
It feels rather strange among God’s people to be considering the matter of the days of creation (literal 24 hr. days) compared to ages of time. Young people have learned for years that God created the earth in six literal days (24 hrs.) and rested on the seventh day. Before I became a Christian and attended a denominational church I learned as a small child that God created the earth in six literal days and rested on the seventh. I am glad that I did not meet any of these day/millions of years brethren when I was learning about the truth of the Bible and obeying the word to become a Christian. Had I heard this kind of nonsense I never would have been persuaded to become a Christian. To top it all off, we have brethren telling us it makes no difference what we believe on this matter.
It is quite clear from the scriptures in three areas of study that it does make a difference what we believe about the days of creation. It also makes a difference in the matter of teaching the gospel to the lost and in fellowship among brethren. These areas of study are faith, the inspiration of the scriptures, and God’s testimony of Himself. These are fundamental facts to the Word of God and our salvation and fellowship among brethren. If we cannot speak the same thing on these matters fundamental to the faith then there is no grounds of fellowship. Paul puts it this way in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” We are commanded to be of the same mind on matters of faith. Those who give uncertain sounds are not to be heeded. “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8). Those who give uncertain sounds on the matter of faith will be held accountable for those who follow, ( compare Ezekiel 33: 1-6; & James 3:1). Continue reading » Does It Really Matter? (Days of Creation and Fellowship)
As one of the signatories of the Open Letter, brother Ron Lloyd received a form letter response from brother Colly Caldwell, president of Florida College, that was dated June 30, 2000. Both the Open Letter and brother Caldwell’s response have been widely circulated, in this journal, and elsewhere. On the 23rd of July, brother Lloyd responded to brother Caldwell in a private letter. Several months have elapsed since Ron mailed his letter to FC, but to my knowledge, no response has been forthcoming.Sadly, brother Ron Lloyd passed away on September 11, 2000. Before his death, Ron shared a copy of this letter with me. Now, his wife, Lolita, has given me permission to share it with others.
Brother Lloyd’s letter to brother Caldwell was well-written, to the point, and deserving of wide circulation. It manifested a good and honorable disposition throughout. If heeded, it should cause the recipient to seriously reflect upon the direction in which the institution over which he presides is headed. Whether it, or other letters like it, will receive proper consideration is something that only time will tell. Unfortunately, early signals from Tampa have not thus far been encouraging. Continue reading » Ron Lloyd’s Letter to Colley Caldwell
The above title appears on an article written by Gary Ogden and published on July 16, 2000 in THE PLANT CITY PLANTER, the regular bulletin of the church in Plant City, Florida. I am deeply concerned with both the tone of this article and with what I consider to be the tremendous danger it poses to those who would keep an open and receptive heart to search the scriptures daily with a noble heart (Acts 17: 11). I will reproduce brother Ogden¹s article in its entirety and then my response to it will follow. It is my desire that brother Ogden and the elders at Plant City will carefully read both of them with an open and receptive heart and with a sincere determination to believe and teach only that which God has revealed in His Word. I can assure you that such is my only desire.
Internet — Boon or Bane?
by Gary Ogden
“And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear…” (Mark 4:24). “Take care what you listen to” (NASB.) “Consider carefully what you hear,” (NIV).
“Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luke 8:18, KJV). “Therefore take care how you listen;” (NASB). “Therefore consider carefully how you listen” (NIV). Continue reading » Response to: Internet — Boon or Bane?
A Review of Ferrell Jenkins’ Lecture at Florida College, February 8, 2000
Brother Ferrell Jenkins gave the above lecture in the Puckett auditorium as part of this year’s lecture series. This writer was in attendance to hear this lecture. Later that same evening, I had the opportunity to talk with Ferrell about it, differing with some of the things he had said. When the lecture was later transcribed I wrote an informal review of it which was circulated via e-mail. This review led to a brief exchange of posts with brother Jenkins via e-mail. In all of my dealings with Ferrell, Ferrell has been kind and I certainly have no axe to grind with him personally. It is simply a case of his speech deserving a more formal review because of its implications on matters troubling brethren today.
Because of Watchman Magazine’s format a more in depth review is possible. In spite of this, all of brother Jenkins’ speech is not included in this article. A copy of his speech, in PDF form, can be accessed by visiting Ferrell Jenkin’s web site, www.bibleworld.com. Clicking this link will take you away from Watchman. Use your back button to return to this page. Continue reading » “Making Sense of the Days of Creation”
Editor’s Note: This article is a response to Bill Robinson’s article which appears elsewhere in this issue. To read Bill Robinson’s article, click here.
As a teenager, Bill Robinson, Jr. was baptized during a gospel meeting I conducted in California. His father and I were good friends and I had no one on whom I could depend any more than Bill Robinson, Sr. I encouraged Bill, Jr. when he decided to preach and continued with help and encouragement long afterward. I was supposed to have performed his wedding ceremony when he got married but was too ill to travel at the time. I have felt a special warmth for him and his family through the years and have been a good friend to them. Because of this close association in the past, I am especially disappointed with his article. I took it as a personal insult, publicly proclaimed. He accuses me and the other signatories of the most heinous crime, that of being a party with premeditated intent on dividing the church as well as being a group of creed makers forcing our will on the church! Continue reading » Response to “The 29th Question and Beyond…” (Barnett)
Editor’s Note: This article by Bill Robinson, Jr., is reviewed elsewhere in this issue by Maurice Barnett. You are encouraged to read both articles.
An “Open Letter” has been circulated about the alleged consequences of what some have taught regarding Genesis One, especially at Florida College. I am not an alumnus of the school even though I have managed to preach the gospel for the past 27 years (tongue firmly planted in cheek). Furthermore, I am not an apologist for those named in the “Open Letter” or the college – its merits or demerits must be evaluated by each individual. What those accused have written in their defense has not only been articulated extremely well but it has been presented in an obvious spirit of “sweet reasonableness” (Phil. 4:5). For the record, I am personally acquainted with all of those named in the “Open Letter,” with the exception of one, and count them as friends. Florida College is a human institution. Thus it exists apart from the church (universal and/or local) and from any other institution. The 50+ signers of the “Open Letter” are acting as if Florida College is amenable to the church when it is not even supported, much less promoted as part of the work of the church. If brethren ever become like the very thing they oppose then the “Open Letter” is a classic example of it. The very nature of the letter is an attempt to determine the boundaries of fellowship for Florida College as if there were boundaries of fellowship to be imposed on Florida College. Continue reading » The 29th Question and Beyond…
Editor’s Note: This article by Dan King is a review of Hill Roberts article appearing elsewhere in this issue. We encourage you to read both articles.
In spite of the fact that brother Hill Roberts has declared repeatedly that he will not discuss these matters with those of us who wrote and signed the Open Letter, he has recently posted another response on his web site to what has been written regarding his positions, and by this writer in particular. It appears that he will discuss them, but only on his terms, when and where he determines. Since we could not get him openly to debate these issues, we are happy to receive this response and have another opportunity to, in this limited sense at least, answer his quibbles and reply to the additional points he has made.
Hill divides his response into five sections and offers comments on these five separate topics. Since these are the only points he wishes to address at this time, we shall limit ourselves to the same five areas of discussion. At the end, we shall add a few concluding thoughts and questions regarding this controversy and Florida College. Continue reading » Reply to Hill Roberts’ “Floods, Science and Religion…” (King)
Floods, Science and Religion, Kinds, Evening and Morning – Sustained
(c) 2000, Hill Roberts, Permission granted to publish whole and without alteration
Editor’s Note: This article by Hill Roberts continues the discussion generated by the Open Letter found elsewhere in this issue. You can find other articles written by Hill Roberts and those who have reviewed him and his teaching. In this issue, brother Daniel H. King, Sr. reviews this article.
A. Concerning the Flood:
I believe in a worldwide flood. I believe it was global. However, for physical reasons, I do not expect to find any global deposits in evidence of the global flood of Noah. There has been misunderstanding of this. In a recent public virtual-forum I wrote: Continue reading » Floods, Science and Religion, Kinds, Evening and Morning…
Once, when “a certain lawyer” attempted to ensnare Jesus with a question, the Lord replied, “What is written in the law? How readest thou” (Lk. 10:26)?
Regarding the current controversy concerning “the days of Genesis 1,” let us ask, “How readest thou?” Are the days referred to literal days, or are they long ages of time as evolutionists theorize? Let us cite a portion of the text, and ask, “How readest thou?”
“And God said, Let there be light; and there was light….and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (1:3-5).
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years….And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (1:14-19).
Without argument, just by reading the text, what is your sense or understanding of the language? Are the days figurative, referring to long periods of time? Does each day represent millions of years? “How readest thou?”
It is clear that an effort is underway to characterize the Open Letter as a “creed” written by a “council” of preachers who seek to direct churches. Though it is a diversionary matter, a refutation of the charge is in order. Before proceeding to consideration of the charge, however, I would like to make a few preliminary observations.
A good brother recently wrote to me saying such had been “brought to his attention.” Several discussion lists have been sent to me where such charges have been made. An anonymous post containing unclean language made the charge to the editor of Watchman Magazine. A co-editor of one paper has made this charge. In his response to the Open Letter, which was never sent to this writer, Shane Scott makes the same charge. Brother Ferrell Jenkins has readily allowed his website to be used in spreading this charge. Yet, my young brother’s post is the first time someone has made the charge to me. The fact that Dan King and I wrote the Open Letter is well known, having been pointed out in print several times. Why do the ones charging such not address those charged? Better yet, why not seek to discuss the situation to see if agreement could be reached before making such a charge? Is this an example of the higher ethical standard to which they are calling us? Or are they exempt from the standards they seek to impose on others? Continue reading » Open Letter: Creed, Council, or Expression of Concern?
(Editor’s Note: This article is a review of the response Hill Roberts gave to the Open Letter. You may, for context, wish to read Roberts’ article first.)
It is comforting to note that brother Hill Roberts has finally “come out of the closet” to respond to our Open Letter. Up until now his silence has been deafening, and this is especially noteworthy since his writings and teachings are the major reason for the present controversy. However, it is sad that he has come out of hiding only momentarily. He informs us that it is true that he will not debate the issues regarding his views on Genesis 1– “sort of.” He says that he will debate the issue with those “demonstrating a spirit in accord with 1 Peter 3:15,” but “brothers who introduce themselves to me with the verbal equivalent of ‘Put ’em up’ will be disappointed.” We will let the reader decide for himself as to the spirit of the Open Letter and that of those who composed it. With respect to attitude, though, it is clear that brother Roberts has his own problems to deal with.
The Fools Who Wrote and Signed the Letter
As brother Roberts admits in his response, the two of us have never met, and I personally have no axe to grind with him nor reason to have any ill feelings toward him whatsoever. In spite of some of his very personal insults toward us, I still do not. I have known his parents for better than 30 years and love and admire them greatly. His brother Phil has been a colleague and friend for 25 years or more. He has obviously sprung from a wonderful Christian family. But that does not remove the taint which attaches to the doctrinal positions which he himself espouses. Those of us who signed the letter are sorry that he has not seen fit openly to discuss these matters. We have no desire to misrepresent or malign brother Roberts, but a man’s public writings and teachings are certainly subject to public review, and that is primarily what we had hoped that we could accomplish. We are sorry that he has seen fit to react by calling us all fools repeatedly in his response. Perhaps brother Roberts ought to pay some heed to the words of Christ on this subject, “Whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool,’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:22). Continue reading » Hill Robert’s Response To Our Open Letter (King)
Response by Hill Roberts To The Open Letter of King, et al.
— Final Version —
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.” Proverbs 26:4
(Editor’s Note: Brother Daniel H. King, Sr. reviews this article in his article entitled “A Review of Hill Roberts’ Response To Our Open Letter”. After reading this article, please read brother King’s response.)
Heeding good advice, ordinarily I would not respond to such a letter. Such attacks bring me no harm. However, because I am being used as a means by which to attack and attempt to bring real harm on others, I must now respond. I offer these blunt comments in hopes of exposing and defeating this weak and ungodly attack on Florida College staff and other godly men who are busy preaching the Word.
“Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” Proverbs 26:5 Continue reading » Response by Hill Roberts to the Open Letter
Friday, August 4, 2000 Watchman Readers,On Wednesday, July 12, 2000, I mailed the following letter to brother Ferrell Jenkins. Thus far, I have received no answer. In his public response to the Open Letter, brother Jenkins said that the signatories of the same who have written privately to him should not expect any sort of personal reply. “Brethren, you know that we don’t have time to engage each of you in a personal correspondence,” he said. “Don’t expect it.”
Beyond his public response to the Open Letter, entitled, “The Creation Controversy and Florida College,” available for viewing at BIBLEWORLD.COM, it appears that no further dialog will be forthcoming. On a variety of levels, this response was extremely disappointing. Instead of addressing the genuine concerns of many faithful brethren regarding current compromises on the days of creation, brother Jenkins’ reaction was both combative and evasive. It raises more questions than answers. Continue reading » A Public Letter to Ferrell Jenkins (Mayberry)
Where Does Brother Jenkins Stand?
(Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from the Gospel Anchor web site, with permission. It is a response to the article written by Ferrell Jenkins, entitled: “Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine and the CD.” The reader is encouraged to read that article in connection with this one.)
Brother Jenkins has had several great opportunities to clear the air and tell us exactly
where he stands on this issue. Instead, he is continuously shifting the issue
to something that it is not. I find the course of this controversy very interesting considering the fact that my original concerns were not over brother Jenkins’ views
at all! I was concerned about those of Hill Roberts and Shane Scott. Whether he intended this or not, brother Jenkins’ actions have done nothing but shift attention away from the teachings of Roberts and Scott and focused it on other things. It appears as though Jenkins has thrown himself on the
in an effort to spare these men. This course of action may have succeeded in drawing fire away from Roberts and Scott, but it has also weakened brother Jenkins’ own position. It has caused him to use questionable methods and arguments. It only creates confusion. Continue reading » Response to Ferrell Jenkins (Haile)
Observations on the Article by Brother Ferrell Jenkins
entitled, “Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine, and the CD”
(Editor’s Note: This article is a review of Ferrell Jenkins’ article, noted in the title. You may, for context, wish to read Jenkins’ article first. In fact, brother Reeves specifically requests that you do so, and suggests that you print out the article for comparison as you read his review.)
Much of the article is directed to the ones named above, and, of course, they can (have or will) speak for themselves. I will direct my remarks to such matters as evasive attitude, and tactics, used by brother Jenkins. His article, he says, is “about some inconsistencies, even hypocritical conduct I have observed recently”. Well, “thou art the man” (2 Sam. 12:7).
- Complaining about what he calls “A New Criticism” in the Open Letter signed by 67 gospel preachers, he says, “If Hill Roberts taught evolution at Florida College in Feb., 1999, I said I disagreed with it in my speech (Feb., 2000). That should clear me. I had no idea that anyone would ever think I had ever entertained any idea of the truthfulness of the theory of evolution of either the animate or the inanimate universe. There is no teacher at Florida College who believes or advocates a naturalistic origin of the universe”. Continue reading » Observations on the Article by Brother Ferrell Jenkins (Reeves)
Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine, and the CD
(Editor’s Note: Brother Bill H. Reeves reviews this article with his article entitled, “Observations on the Article by Ferrell Jenkins entitled, ‘Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine, and the CD'”, after reading this article, please read brother Reeve’s response. Also, brother Tim Haile, who is mentioned in the title of brother Jenkin’s article, has responded. His article is titled, Response to Ferrell Jenkins.)
Connie W. Adams and I worked together with the Brown Street church in 1967-68. It was a busy, profitable and enjoyable work. He has visited in our home many times since we moved to Florida in December, 1968. It was with disappointment that I read his article on “The Days of Creation” in Truth Magazine (July 6, 2000). The article was mostly about Florida College and Shane Scott, a member of the Biblical Studies faculty at Florida College. A New Criticism
Connie’s article was sent to Colly Caldwell by Mike Willis, editor of Truth Magazine
, in early June. I first saw it on June 9. Both Caldwell and Scott prepared replies to the article within days and had hoped they would be run in the same issue of the paper. But they were not. After waiting until July 24, Caldwell and Scott have agreed for me to post their replies at http://bibleworld.com. I trust you will read that material. Continue reading » Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile… (Jenkins)
(Editor’s Note: This article is a review of Ferrell Jenkins’ article, The Creation Controversy and Florida College. You may want to read the Jenkin’s article first.)
It is difficult for this writer to find the words to adequately express the wistful thoughts, heartfelt grief and sheer astonishment with which this rejoinder is undertaken. The recent statements of brethren Ferrell Jenkins and Colly Caldwell make me wonder what happened to the men I have known, loved and respected for 25 years. They were my teachers and mentors. They were men whom I sought to imitate in the proper sense (Heb. 13:7). When I read their statements and hear the arguments being made in defense of their recent actions, I am left in utter disbelief that these words are coming from the same men so loved and admired for their steady, studious, faithful and dignified lives. My love and thanksgiving for what these men have done for me remains, but my conscience will not allow me to be silent about their present teaching nor to adopt their tone in this discussion. This rejoinder is not intended to be a point-by-point analysis of responses made to the Open Letter. Rather, it hopes to deal with common principles in a variety of responses in a thematic way. Excellent point-by-point rejoinders have been done by Tim Haile, Dan King, Maurice Barnett, Bill Reeves and others. The reader would do well to read each response and rejoinder before this article. My purpose is to make an appeal to those still willing to study, discuss and fairly examine the principles at stake in this matter. May God help us all to examine our hearts to make sure that our desire is only for truth. Continue reading » A Rejoinder of Lamenation (Osborne)