Written by Samuel Lawrence.
Last Friday evening I attended a rally entitled “A Greater Freedom,” at First Baptist North Spartanburg Church with my 15 year old daughter The event was sponsored by CEO Round Table of SC and Conservative.SC. It was an inspiring program filled with great speakers. The most notable speaker was SC Senator Jim DeMint (http://demint.senate.gov), a champion of Conservatism, who received a standing ovation upon walking into the room. Other notable speakers were…
- Dr. Frank S. Page, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, http://www.sbcec.org/
- Dr. Michael S. Hamlet, Senior Pastor of First Baptist North Spartanburg
- Josh Kimbrell, President & Chairman of CEO Round Table of South Carolina
- Dave Wilson, President, Conservative.SC, http://www.conservative.sc/
- Dr. Tony Beam, Vice-President for Student Services and the Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina, where “Christ Makes The Difference” http://www.ngu.edu/
- Lisa Van Riper, an adjunct instructor for Political Science courses at North Greenville University since 1988. http://www.ngu.edu/
- Dr. Cheryl Collier, Chair of the English Department, at North Greenville University since 1999. http://www.ngu.edu/
The messages delivered at the rally centered around these topics: the liberal and the secular direction our nation is headed in, the liberal progressive leadership taking our nation down a path to financial ruin, the degradation of morality, and the lack of respect of human life in all stages. The tie between needing Conservative fiscal policies, was directly linked to the desperate need for moral purity and Social conservatism. Social conservatism and Fiscal conservatism must go hand in hand. DeMint mentioned that what is happening in American culture is not that Christians are puhing their beliefs on others, but rather that the secularists are bent on forcing their unchristian views of morality on Christians. This is an unacceptable situation that must be reversed.
I noticed there was one recurring theme that I heard all night… “America needs another Great Awakening.” I have been saying that for quite a while and could not agree more with all the speeches I heard. Christian Spiritual renewal and America’s national turning away from sin and debauchery, including the shedding of the most innocent blood of the preborn, and turning to Christ is a critical need for America to not only survive, but to have any real hope of reovering our freedoms that have been swallowed up the past few years. The problem today is this: America is vainly trying to take that which is morally and scripturally wrong and make it politically correct.
One of my Evangelical Christian heroes of modern history wrote succinctly and timely sermons and devotions regarding the very problems we are facing in our culture today. He was a prophetic preacher and powerful communicator whose sermons need to be preached to our culture in 2010 (spoken out loud and not in whispers). I was blessed to have heard him live at a revival in Greenville when I was much younger. He was not a loud, pulpit banging preacher. At first glance, he was unimpressive in his stature and quite layed back in his presentations. However, he spoke with great power and great authority. His words were carried by the Holy Spirit and deposited into the ears and hearts of those in attendance. This oreacher was Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986), and he had a gift of speaking Gospel truths in relevant terms which went straight to the heart of the Scripture and illuminated it in vivid luminous quality. Below is one of Havner’s devotions that I think pretty well sums up the ineffectiveness of the vast majority of today’s churches to impact the culture in which we live. In it Havner places the responsibility for our loss of effectiveness in the pulpit and in the laps of Christ’s followers. The speakers Friday night also layed the blame for the crumbling morality in the laps of Chistians and the churches failing to proclaim the whole council of God. Read this short devotional and see if you agree…
BACK TO DOGMA! (By Vance Havner)
“The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” (II Timothy 4:3)
One of the pet bugaboos of many a deluded soul in the past few years has been dogma. One would think it the unpardonable sin to be dogmatic in the pulpit. Now we are reaping the harvest, because “my humble opinion” has supplanted “Thus saith the Lord.”
When I am sick I want a dogmatic physician who knows what ails me and calls it by its right name. I want my medicine put up by a dogmatic pharmacist. If he got tired of being dogmatic and decided to disregard his formula it might mean my funeral. When I ride the train I want a dogmatic engineer up front who keeps a schedule. When your car needs repairs you want a dogmatic mechanic who knows what the trouble is and can fix it.
Yet in the pulpit, of all places, ministers to whom is entrusted the care of men’s souls throw away their instructions and go by guesswork instead of by God’s Word. We are not peddlers of fable. God has spoken, and when men ask a reason for our hope we ought to have a definite, clear-cut answer.
The Early Church did something because it believed something. We are trying to do what they did without believing what they believed. But without Scriptural doctrine we cannot do our spiritual duty.”1
Well said Dr. Havner! It is time for the church to start being THE CHURCH. We need to get out of the pews, off our Lazy-Boys, put away our toys and gadgets and start engaging the culture in positive ways for Christ by not only sharing our faith, but demonstrating it through our own lives.
1. (Pepper ‘n Salt by Vance Havner. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966) Source: http://www.vancehavner.com/