I was compelled to do a piece about “unity in Christ” and what Christ means, not what “we” assume He means. [The picture] is Christ the Lamb of God who manifested all that “unity” of the redeemed in God the Father and God the Son!
The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is occurring in a few days (June 15-16). Messengers from member churches from all over the United States have poured in to Nashville in order to attend. Normally the meeting attracts a good number of members interested in the convention’s direction, but this year there are more messengers than ever. Two overflow rooms have been set up due to high registration attendance.
Why so many? To “Take the Ship!,” the mantra and the attitude of these many extra messengers, who have arrived because they are concerned with the direction the convention of churches is heading. Women pastors are being ordained, despite the office being biblically denied to women. Women are more often regularly preaching the Sunday message, again, something the Bible forbids. Critical Race Theory & Intersectionality are infiltrating the churches due to an unfortunate passing of Resolution #9 two years ago. A general liberal drift has been observed. Many of the messengers arriving in Nashville want to stop all this, and will advocate for a return to biblical principles, especially those outlined in the Convention’s own Baptist Faith & Message, many precepts of which are regularly denied, members say.
I have regularly warned against Beth Moore’s negative influence in the Convention since 2011. Her example, her lifestyle, her doctrine, and her teachings – whether live, on DVD, or in her books and curricula – are to be avoided. Beth Moore is a false teacher.
Moore has been active in the SBC since the mid 1978, only departing the Southern Baptist Convention in a loud announcement just 12 weeks ago. What has her legacy been over these past four decades? How is her ministry faring? Is she still reaching the heights of popularity (and influence) she did in her heyday, or is her heyday still ongoing?
Churches and religious organizations are among the charitable organizations that qualify for exemption from paying income taxes. These tax-exempt charitable organizations are listed in the IRS as 501(c)(3) organizations. Beth Moore’s corporation titled Living Proof Ministries has been tax-exempt since its founding 1995. What this means is, in return for being exempt from paying taxes for the public good, the IRS requires exempt organizations to disclose IRS filings to the general public. Any non-profit organization’s tax filings can be viewed. I use ProPublica to view LPM’s filings.
The most recent filing is for the tax year 2019, filed in 2020. For the last three years, Living Proof Ministries has been operating at a loss. Tax Year (TY) 2016 was the last year, according to the filings, that LPM made money, and only $133,439 at that. TY 2017 showed a net income loss of -$540,356. TY 2018 showed a net income loss of -$722,828. This was the first year also that the Ministry’s functional income fell below 2 million dollars.
Beth Moore’s compensation is listed on the IRS return as $222,651 for a 50/hour week. The Ministry also employs her daughter Melissa, whose salary is listed as $114,241 for a 40/hour week. The Ministry reported “Savings and Temporary Cash investments” at just over $4.3million. The IRS defines this category as-
“The combined total of amounts held in interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, deposits in transit, temporary cash investments (such as money market funds, commercial paper, and certificates of deposit), and U.S. Treasury bills or other governmental obligations that mature in less than a year.”
From 2001-2016, Living Proof Ministries built its assets from $1 million to $15 million. (Source)
Beth Moore’s Salary: Fiscal Year ending 2019: $222,651 Fiscal year ending 2018: $231,205. Fiscal year ending 2017: $229,862 Fiscal Year ending 2016: $229,862
Moore’s salary is set by a process for determining compensation that includes a review and approval by independent persons, comparability data, and substantiation for the decision should the IRS require details. Whether the independent committee chose to cut Moore’s salary or she volunteered to cut it is unknown, but her salary did decrease a bit this year over last.
The section called Gifts and Grants to the Ministry shows a decline over time as well. The height of giving to LPM seems to have been 2014,
I have noticed that Living Proof’s charitable giving to other organizations and churches has gone down too. The Ministry used to be much more generous. Giving shown on the earliest online return was $225,607 and the ministry’s income at that time was 1.7 million. This past year, LPM donated only $39,000, despite a healthy savings of $4.3 million and net assets of $13,472,277. Same-amount donations of $6,500 were given to just 6 organizations last year, as opposed to generous giving to over 20 places in the earliest IRS Return posted online.
The type of organizations Moore’s Ministry donates to has drifted from churches and religious entities as it was in the earlier years, to social justice and social reform causes in these latter years. LPM’s giving in the early years included donations to various churches (including Joel Osteen’s Lakewood), missions, the International Mission Board, Bible donations, and scholarships & tuition to religious education organizations, etc.
Star of HopeMission was on LPM’s donation list this year, an organization that cares for Houston’s homeless.
Also on the donations list from Living Proof Ministry this past year was Hines Ugandan Ministries– Its ‘About Us’ says: “Hines Ugandan Ministries strives to meet the spiritual, educational and physical needs of the children and families in Kamonkoli Village through our sponsorship program, orphanage, medical clinic, AWANA program, and primary school.”
But in a marked shift in type of LPM partnerships in giving, for example, Living Proof this past year donated to Millennium Relief & Development, a community service organization. Their website lists projects such as “Aquaponics & sustainable agriculture in Egypt & the Maldives”, “Job training for human trafficking survivors in India”, and a “Women’s Center in Iraq”.
Living Proof also donated to an organization called PolishedWomen, defined as “A network that gathers working women to navigate the workplace and explore faith together in authentic community.”
Build a Better Us, whose stated mission is “To assist individuals & families through coaching and health services in order to build better communities.” Its founder Bradley J. Thompson, or “BJ,” lists himself as a life coach specializing in “Personal development – Relational development – Spiritual formation – Diversity maturity.”
Finally, the last organization on the Living Proof donation list of 6 organizations was Be the Bridge, a “racial reconciliation ministry”. There are serious concerns with the infiltration of Critical Race Theory into SBC churches, and the divisions such philosophies spark. Jesse Johnson reviewed Be the Bridgehere at The Cripplegate, saying, “Be the Bridge buys into the evolutionary lie that race defines our existence.” Living Proof Ministry has been donating to Be the Bridge for several years.
As a former investigative journalist, adhering to the adage “follow the money” yields quantifiable data, often irrefutable. Observing income, money exchanges between parties, and the data begins to tell a story. I’ll leave to you to weave that story, I just present the facts.
I hope that Beth Moore repents someday, and I do hope that her influence wanes. I hope that her ministry folds and her books go out of print. This isn’t because I dislike Beth Moore. No. She seems like a nice person to her daughters and grandchildren, and she needs salvation like any other (probably) non-saved person. I hope for those things because I mourn the women negatively affected by Moore’s false teaching and because of her unbiblical lifestyle that many women are now following. LPM states they have reached 3.9m households. Her LPM online ministry outreach reaches people on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LPM’s app and her Living Proof Blog. These social media platforms combined reached a total of 2 million people. Her daily radio broadcast reaches 531k people weekly on 397 radio outlets. LPM’s online store disseminates (false) religious teachings through audio, video and written material to the tune of 15k units shipped and 2k downloads. Onsite ministry supported 700 walk-ins.
These numbers add up to a hefty influence. In other activities, Moore is teaching at Wheaton College this July through Christine Caine’s Propel Women Cohort. And, of course, though Moore’s formal relationship with LifeWay ended, “LifeWay will continue to carry Moore’s books and study resources and she is listed as a speaker for “A Cruise with Lifeway” in October.” (Source). Though Living Proof’s net income is in the red, I don’t think her Ministry empire is in danger of immediate collapse, sad to say.
Beth Moore’s departure from the SBC, strategically announced just prior to the SBC annual meeting, in fact gives her more flexibility and latitude than ever. Sadly, her forty-year unbiblical influence leaves SBC messengers to clean up her mess in attempts to retake the ship and steer it from shoal infested rocky waters to deeper, calmer seas. I’m praying for our dear SBC messengers and that the outcome of this meeting will be unity and a return to more biblical standards, especially where it relates to women’s roles, something of which I have great concern.
Propagation of false teaching is like gangrene, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:17, spreading quickly and in the end, is deadly to those who unwarily absorb it. I hope as Beth Moore departs the Southern Baptist Convention and looks to the next phases of her aging life and ministry, that she retires to her 45-acre, 2 million dollar estate in Tomball, and begins to live a quiet life (1 Thessalonians 4:11), becomes sensible, pure, and a worker at home (Titus 2:5), and most of all, that she repents. (Mark 1:15).
I’m a fan of The Great Pottery Throwdown. It’s a reality competition show in Britain, featuring contestants who make various ceramics out of various types of clay, and then are judged on the results according to various criteria. They are successively eliminated until one is left standing as the winning Potter.
Keith Brymer Jones is a Master Potter, and has been judge on the show since its debut in 2015. Jones is fantastically talented designer and potter, and has an entire line of ceramics and homeware. His knowledge comes across on the show either when he demonstrates a technique to the contestants, or when he judges their items.
Jones is a huge hulk of a man. He looks to be well over 6 feet, and has a huge chest and long arms. Either he was born that way or his decades of hunching over a potter’s wheel and lugging tons of clay has made him so. One would expect so large of a man to be a “strong silent type” where “still waters run deep” or at least more reserved and manly, as all the stereotypes go. But no. Keith Brymer Jones is well known for easily and often shedding tears on the show.
He cries at the beauty of the pieces. He cries at the failure of the pieces. He cries at the dedication and perseverance of the contestants. He cries and cries!
The odd juxtaposition of such a large man so easily crying in public, who sobs over sensitive things such as beauty, has been well noted online,
This dungaree-wearing gentle giant is reduced to blubbing several times an episode, and tears fall down his cheeks simply in the name of beautiful ceramics. (source)
But Keith has been the star of the show since series one, sobbing away, reminding us all that sometimes your emotions overtake you just because you have such a strong appreciation of fine craft. (source)
After some brief initial teasing about it, Jones decided to embrace his tears, saying to the UK Guardian, “I get emotional,” says the master potter, “because it’s a craft I love. It is my life. When I see a potter communicating their creativity via something they’ve made, I can’t help but cry. You’re watching imagination come to life. It’s so special.“
I appreciate fine craft, too. I had teared up at viewing an artistic masterpiece. I did when I saw Michaelangelo’s David, and Botticelli’s Primavera, before I was saved. I also appreciate the skill and hard work involved in producing such beauty. RC Sproul used to teach and preach about beauty quite often. Sproul said,
It is interesting to me that people of all ages and from all civilizations and cultures are fascinated with jewels and precious metals for no reason other than their beauty. These things are precious to us not because we can eat them or use them as tools, but because they serve as adornments. By their inherent beauty, they enhance human beauty and the work of man’s hands. (Sproul, source)
I know another man, this one personally, not a TV man. He is a good man. He loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and teaches about him as well as preaches often. He is a student of the word. Mainly, he is a child of God, and intensely sensitive to the fact that we humans are depraved wretches and graciously saved from God’s wrath by grace. The life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ stirs Him. He teaches of the Good News of the Gospel and can hardly do so when mentioning these things without crying.
He loves the Lord so much and His Good News so awes him, that he tears up at the mere thought of how He saved wretches like us.
I got to thinking about the contrast between these two men. I have no issue about men shedding tears, no, that’s not it. The contrast is in their perspective. It’s in the object that moves them to tears. One man cries upon seeing the clay. The other cries upon seeing the Potter.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Am I not able, house of Israel, to deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord.
May I never lose my awe and gratitude upon seeing the Potter, who makes us His clay pots. Some are for common use and some are for honorable use. (Romans 9:21). He does as he wills with His clay. God Himself appreciates beauty.
And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. (Exodus 28:2)
His beauty is beauty from which ALL other beauty stems. There is nothing beautiful that doesn’t come from the beauty that is God and His Son Jesus Christ and His Spirit who remakes the dishonorable clay into beautiful vessels for His use and for His glory.
As we read and study the Scriptures, we have to come to the conclusion that there is an ultimate source of beauty — the character of God. Just as the normative standard for goodness and truth is God, so the ultimate standard of beauty is God, and He is very interested in beauty in His creation. (Sproul, source).
I can admire a man who appreciates beauty and is even moved to tears because of it. But I admire a man even more who appreciates the source of all beauty, the very beautiful Jesus Christ and His Good News of the Gospel.
The American church has a lot to answer for when we all meet Jesus. The “prosperity” gospel has sunk in deep and permeated every corner of the US. Now it’s exported abroad, and polluting churches in India and Africa and elsewhere. The prosperity gospel is no gospel. It teaches congregants to indulge their flesh, seek worldly things, and keep their eyes focused laterally instead of vertically. Joel Osteen is a master of this kind of gospel.
Joel Osteen flatly laid out the main precepts of Prosperity gospel out in a 2005 letter to his flock. “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us,” Osteen wrote.
No, that’s not what God wants us to do. God wants us to live holy lives, pick up our cross, obey Him, be witnesses for His name, worship Him, be wise, and share the true Gospel all over the world, among other things. (1 Peter 1:15, John 4:24, Matthew 16:24, 1 John 5:2-3, Matthew 10:16, Matthew 28:19). The destiny he laid out for us includes trouble, persecution, hatred, and hardships, (John 16:33, John 15:18, Acts 14:22, 2 Corinthians 6:4).
Gay Pride Month was first declared in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Three presidents of the United States have officially declared a pride month. As mentioned, Clinton was first, who declared it June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 and 2000. Then from 2009 to 2016, each year he was in office, Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. Joe Biden declared June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in 2021.
A lot has happened with the homosexual agenda since 1993. Twenty-eight years ago, (1993) in an episode of the comedy sitcom “Seinfeld” called “The Outing,” Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza, lifelong buddies, are mistaken for a homosexual couple, and “strenuously deny that they are gay, conditioning their denials with ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that.’ The line would soon afterward become a catchphrase. Jason Alexander maintains that it is the most popular to originate from the series. (source).
But the camel’s nose was under the tent. It was the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (DADT). In the same year as Seinfeld’s episode of “The Outing”, President Bill Clinton announced new policy regarding homosexuals in the military. Until then, openly homosexual men and women were barred from service in the United States Military. Under Clinton’s policy, DADT meant that homosexual men and women could serve if they weren’t flagrant. No military official could directly ask them about their sexual orientation in recruitment or otherwise, either.
This new policy ushered in a sensitivity about asking or discussing one’s sexual orientation in the general culture, as seen in the hugely impactful Seinfeld episode. I can’t state more strongly what a cultural phenomenon that Seinfeld was. In the episode, each time when homosexuality was mentioned and the catchphrase “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” was uttered, the person would shrug, throw up their hands in a mock submission and shake their head. Here is a 16 second compilation from that episode-
Twenty-eight years later, even mentioning homosexuality in less than glowing terms raises immediate ire. If a person does not give hearty approval to homosexuality, (Romans 1:32), one is immediately scourged. The scourging is fast, immediate, and vicious. I’ve been a recipient of it myself, merely for inquiring of a third party regarding two ladies, “Are they together?”
It is a given that we understand there are many sins. Lists and lists of them are given in the Bible. (Romans 1:29-31, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Jude 1:16). Committing even one of them disqualifies a person from heaven. Jesus is great enough to forgive them, no matter how many you committed. If a person is talking about the greatness of Jesus in His ability and desire to forgive any and all sins, then by all means, list the bunch of them to illustrate the breadth of His mercy and grace! But homosexuality is one of those sins for which people who practice it will endure hellfire forever.
While the discussion of homosexuality as a sin may legitimately call for an expanded list of sins, it is not necessary to hide homosexuality within a larger list of sins just to make it palatable to the LGBT lobby. If the discussion is about the sin of gossip, then the discussion will be about gossip. No one will suggest including adultery in the talk because it is in some way perversely fair to all the other sins to mention them too.
There is no pride in sin. If so, then an adulterer would proudly march up and down the streets showing off his mistress. Thieves would march in parades holding their ill-gotten goods. There is no pride in any sin. We are called to repentance for gossip, fornication, idolatry, greed…all of it!
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
No one who is unrighteous will inherit heaven. I’m not a better class of sinner than a gay person because I sin differently, no! All unrighteous will be disqualified from heaven. Likewise, the homosexual is not a better class of sinner than me, either. There is no pride in sin. None. All sin is cosmic treason and will evoke anger from a Holy God. He punishes sin in wrath.
The Good News is that repentance from sin will evoke forgiveness and compassion from a loving God. He forgives sin, all sin, as we see in the verse above. “…And such were some of you…” WERE some of you. They WERE greedy, drunkards, swindlers, homosexual. Past. They turned from their sin and appealed in penitence to God for forgiveness.
God forgives because Jesus took God’s punishment for sin on the cross. He became sin, He sacrificed Himself on behalf of us pigs wallowing in our filthy pens. The parable of the Prodigal Son reflects the goodness of the Father and his eagerness to forgive sin and welcome His sons into His house!
I will set out and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired laborers.”’ So he set out and came to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let’s eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:18-24).
If one wants to feel pride, be proud of a Holy God who forgives. Boast in Him! (2 Corinthians 10:17). We feel pride in Jesus who did such a monumental work, who came to seek and save the lost, of whom homosexuals are grouped. There is no pride in sin, but there is pride in a sinless Savior. I pray that anyone lost in their sin and feeling deep shame, despair, hopelessness, realizes that no one is too far gone to be able to appeal to Jesus in repentance. He forgives all sin, and no sinner coming to Him will be turned away. And there’s nothing wrong with that, and everything RIGHT and GOOD.
I wrote about this in December 2009 and updated it in 2015. I’m taking on the topic once more here in 2021. It is a topic near and dear to me.
Now, I’m not a trained theologian. There are many people who have interpreted this verse in different ways, so I can’t be dogmatic. But I have a settled confidence.
Why? One particular verse. If God “placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it” then I need to understand that if there is no sea, what does ‘eternal’ mean? Plus I have several other reasons I believe interpreting the text to mean that there will indeed be an ocean, but not a sea.
Detractors of Christianity will say anything to cast aspersions onto the beauty, glory, and mystery of the atonement. One of the more popular riffs I’ve heard lately is that Father God putting Jesus the Son on the cross and killing him was “cosmic child abuse”.
Now that the flat denial and total rebuttal of that notion is out of the way, let’s take a look at why Jesus’ death on the cross was necessary and good.
The mystery of the atonement and all its attendant doctrines is something that has been written about for centuries and by better theologians than myself! I will not be adding anything new. However, my church’s Sunday School lesson taught through the scriptures related to the justification of saints through the atonement, and my brain is afire with thoughts.
As a side note, one way I can affirm the Spirit is alive in me, is His work in my mind when I study or I’m being taught by my pastor-teachers. The scriptures do say He transforms the mind. (Ephesians 4:23, Romans 12:2). My brain fairly sizzles with thoughts, connections, remnants of previous lessons unearthed from my memory to see the light of day and attach to the new information. I’ve got arrows, lines, writing sideways, lol. My brain comes alive when I sit under good teaching. Here is an example of my notes->
Justification by Faith: But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [underline mine]
God is just. He performs perfect justice. Being just is one of His attributes. He cannot be anything else but perfect in all ways, including being just. He dispenses His justice as the Just One.
He is also the justifier. No human can forgive unto justification of another human’s sin, (Mark 2:7). We are on equal par, having equal authority. Someone higher than ourselves needs to administer justice. Can I send so-and-so to jail for a five year term for his crime? No, I have no authority. A duly sworn Judge can, though. With the crime of sin, God as the higher up and person distinct from ourselves is the Judge. Secondly, all humans sin, so we need someone outside of humanity to forgive, otherwise it’s just the blind leading the blind. Because God is perfect and holy, He can forgive. Therefore, He is also the Justifer.
Why does there have to be blood, a cross? Because simply to pass His hand over sins and forgive would compromise His holy character and make it seem that the sinful dishonoring of Him trillions of times would not be that big of a deal, said my teacher. As RC Sproul said, sin is “cosmic treason”. For a holy God to overlook treason by His enemies would make God a patsy, not an authoritative King over all!
Another reason the Son’s death on the cross was not ‘cosmic child abuse’ was that Jesus willingly submitted to the Father’s plan. John 10:18 says,
No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.
Jesus was not a victim. Claiming that He was a victim of abuse would introduce a split between the will and desires and plan among the Persons of the trinity. It is just not so. Jesus is the perfect image of the Father, of the same essence. (Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4). He came to do the will of the Father, (John 6:38) not be a hapless victim of a plan gone wrong.
Continuing with reasons Jesus was not a victim of cosmic child abuse, we have to know that God did not have to save anyone. The amazing part of grace is not that He saved some, but that He saved any. He extended His hand and plucked some from the fires of His wrath and He chose to do so with this plan of the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of His Son. This is a Plan the Son agreed to.
The fact that when the angels sinned God chose not to save them (2 Peter 2:4) shows His great mercy and grace upon His elect humans. “This magnifies God’s grace powerfully” said my teacher.
Finally, I ask detractors to think of the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asked the Father to let this cup [of wrath] pass from Him, if there be another way, yet, His will be done. (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44). Jesus told his companions, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:38). He shared with them that He was grieved! Afflicted to the point of death! He sweat great drops of blood! Yet no one stayed awake with Him. He was alone. he pleaded to the Father in honesty but also in submission to the end of the great plan. Jesus asked the Father THREE TIMES.
If the Father had thought of another way, but did not use it, THAT would be child abuse. If the Father had held a different plan in reserve in His mind, and ignored the pitiful pleas from the Man of Sorrows in the Garden, how abusive that would be! If there had been a different way but God killed Jesus anyway, that would be abuse. But no, there was not another way.
Jesus must live the perfect life pleasing to God. This Lamb must be sacrificed in blood, because in the blood there is the life. (Leviticus 17:11). Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22) He must die, and be buried. He rose again, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. The Trinity is united in their desire to administer both justice and grace upon those whom they will administer justice and grace.
Remember, the shocking thing is not that God doesn’t save all. It is that He saves any.
Are you battle weary? Our daily battle as Christians is tiring, isn’t it? We battle our sin. We battle intrusion of other peoples’ sin. We battle false doctrine. We do this daily. There are some bigger battles that crop up, like the one happening at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 15-16. There, a host of like-minded representatives sent from the member churches, called “messengers,” will voice their opposition to Critical Race Theory and Egalitarianism (and its result, women preaching) to the mass who have gathered. The intention is to thwart the liberal drift. A previous battle like this had occurred in 1979-1980, called the Conservative Resurgence. It was an attempt, like the one coming up next week, to re-steer the Convention away from creeping liberalism and toward conservative, more biblical waters.
Water carries sound and it amplifies it. The crowds were so crushing that in order to even have space, Jesus launched into one of the sailboats (not a dinghy as depicted above, lol) and He spoke to the crowds. Note, He was sitting, they were standing, indicting His important presence, as was the custom of the day.
Were they thirsting for the truth from the Living Waters? Or were they rubberneckers hoping for a personal miracle? Both. We know the end of the story, most people turned out to be rubberneckers only out to see the latest thing in Galilee. Most of these same people eventually rejected Him. (Mark 6:4-5).
What a momentous occasion on that shore! To be present and taught directly by God Himself. We are blessed, we believers in this present Church Age. We have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us these things. This Spirit will never leave us.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
The blessings from our Lord are manifold, beginning with our indwelled Spirit, and His word which was later written down at the inspiration of His Spirit. Study His word today, worship Him by praising Him for those words, and bless Him by being obedient to them. He is a gracious and magnificent God, who taught His sheep from the boat.