READER SAYS ‘CANCEL ME’

A Christian Church preacher writes, "You do not believe that baptism is part of the introduction to the Way of life. I'm saying that you're not a Christian until you have been buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in new life. If I'm understanding you correctly, please quit sending me your excellent daily devotionals." * * * No matter how many times and ways I insist that baptism is … [Read more...]

AN ‘AGENDA’ ISSUE (2)

I recently referred in passing to "the gay agenda" without defining what I meant, possibly suggesting (incorrectly) that people of same-sex orientation all are participants in some secret and sinister conspiracy. I have apologized for my carelessness and will now define the expression as I meant it. * * * One cannot read the morning paper or watch the evening news for many days without realizing … [Read more...]

AN ‘AGENDA’ ISSUE (1)

Following the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, I wrote a gracEmail urging Americans of all parties to unite behind him so far as their convictions allow, but especially to pray for him and all others in positions of power. Nearly 60 of you responded, most affirming the basic message. I also mentioned in passing that I did not support "the gay agenda." (I have since … [Read more...]

WARM AND FUZZY

A reader says he has "serious doubts" about the gracEmail which counseled a couple in search of a church home. "Finding a place you feel comfortable will not be the answer," he wrote. "Above all you will have to follow God's will and his word. Sitting in a chicken house will not make you a chicken and sitting in some church that makes you feel warm and fuzzy will not make you a Christian. Where do … [Read more...]

STRAIGHTENING ME OUT

A gracEmail subscriber tells me it is his God-given duty to straighten me out, saying: "You are good at answering questions that have no biblical language such as 'is baptism necessary.' How about this one: 'Is baptism for the forgiveness of sins?' Why don't use use the words of the apostles to answer the questions about baptism instead of your own words? You never have answered my questions about … [Read more...]

LITTLE GRAY SQUIRRELS

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "You get a question, then answer it like this: In the first paragraph you say, lawyer-like, 'It might be this way.' In the second paragraph you say, 'It might be that way.' In the third paragraph you say, 'Love, joy, grace, Jesus and little gray squirrels.' Why can't you just say 'Yes' or 'No?'" * * * On some subjects, as least, I plead guilty as charged. For the … [Read more...]

YOU KNOW BETTER

A church acquaintance with whom I grew up in North Alabama nearly a half century ago wrote recently to tell me that I am preaching "another gospel" which is no gospel at all, for which I will be eternally lost, and that he knows that I "know better" than my expressed convictions on a variety of religious issues. * * * This unhappy gentleman is representative of a category of people who place … [Read more...]

HALF TRUTHS OR HOLY TRUTH?

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "What you say are Bible truths but they are not all of the truth. In addition to belief, immersion is necessary for salvation. To preach a half truth is to preach a lie. I am sorry for all the elders who invite you into their flock. I pray for those who will be subjected to your false teaching. There comes a time when a man needs to be rebuked and reproved. I am … [Read more...]

GRACE-ONLY NOT CLUTTER

A gracEmail subscriber complains that I am "cluttering up" his email with my "grace-only teaching." * * * I do not use the term "grace only," but I am glad that you did, because it states an important truth. That truth is that we sinners cannot, through any amount of effort, obedience, good intentions or good works, ingratiate ourselves to God, place him in our debt, or create a situation which … [Read more...]

WHAT IS THE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT?

An agitated Christian Church preacher responded as follows to a notice about my book, THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES. "Jesus made a pronouncement of sorts about hell, and I suggest that you and this growing number of 'scholars' you mention familiarize yourselves with it. It's found in Matthew 25:31-46 in the New Testament, a book written by God. What is it about the word aionios [eternal] that you don't … [Read more...]