Thursday, May 26, 2011

RE-living the past glory days

I am sitting in a cafe blogging. I haven't found myself doing that in over a year. I remember spending a great deal of time when I was still in college driving to Valley Station to do work for my internship with NAMB, I don't even remember the name of the place where I was going, how crazy is that. But today was a day where i needed to sit down at my computer and actually stick to some of the summer plans that i had written down. I had said I would blog and now I'm finally doing that. I barely have anything to say right now though. Everything in my life is changing for the better. I am just expecting God to do great things, I don't know what those things are but I know they will be great, and obviously one of them includes getting married.

I was spending some time trying to get over this bad dream I had. I have developed a fear of chimpanzees. I saw the video on YouTube of the woman who was mauled to death in 2009, and last night I had a bad dream about being attacked by a chimp, so yeah, if I see a chimp I will probably not want to get close to it.

I also have the honor of redoing things that I had done when I was back in those days. I am watching movies on Netflix. Since I got an iPhone last month, I have found it easier and easier to take advantage of free trials. The whole point is that there are great ways to do things now that there's this great deal of technological advances...

Keep looking for more updates from me.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer enters its beginning time...

Summer planning is really the only thing that I have kept solid right now. Just being able to make plans with people, to do things and to be able to have a structure of how I want to do them. The past week and a half I have been doing nothing but playing Halo Reach with my roommmate Mark. I finally have an extra controller for my 360 (haven't gotten the whole set yet, but looking to get that soon)

Anyway, I have blogged thoroughly for right now, and i would like to go and read or something, so have a blessed day.


Paper on the Rapture

Here's the other paper I wrote this semester, hope you enjoy reading it.


Eschatology is not a simple subject. The theology of the end of the world is a very complex topic. Debates, controversies, and denials have been the case surrounding various sub-sections in this profound theology; however, no branch of theology should be more encouraging or more examined than the rapture of the church. There are several views of this event within Scripture, but careful consideration and attention should to be paid to the specific view known as the pre-tribulation rapture. This paper will argue that the pre-tribulation rapture of the church is the most well supported view by showing the history of this doctrine’s development, the scriptural evidence, and the prophetic evidence.

What is “The Rapture”?

Paul Enns states that: “prior to the advent of the tribulation, Christ will descend from heaven, catching up the church to be with Himself while the tribulation is unleashed on an unrepentant and unbelieving world.” The rapture basically says that the church will be spared from God’s wrath and be brought into his presence. The Second Coming of Christ is the physical return of the Lord Jesus to the earth for the establishment of his kingdom. These events are entirely different. The rapture would entail a physical removal of believers from the earth. Hal Lindsey pointed this out by saying “our present body of flesh and blood, which must be sustained by elements of the earth which are perishable, must be changed to another form. This new form has material being, but it is of a kind that is suited for the spiritual, imperishable, eternal atmosphere of heaven.”

Origins of this Doctrine

It is a safe assumption that when a believer tries to understand what will occur in the “end times” that one would think of the second coming of Christ and not give much thought to this two-hundred year-old doctrine. Although the term “rapture” has been used since the ancient times, this doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church has been used extensively by numerous theologians. Its most notable proponent was the nineteenth century British preacher John Nelson Darby.

John Nelson Darby

In his article John Nelson Darby: Defender of the Faith, Larry V. Crutchfield explains Darby’s role in the development of this doctrine that became the foundation for this very complex theology. Darby, known as “the father of modern dispensational theology” has had influence on several scholars in today’s world including those at Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary, teaching his view on how the rapture would occur. His view has unfortunately been associated with the fundamentalist movement. Darby’s influence on talking about the nation of Israel and the premillenial return of Christ has been what the modern doctrines have used as their foundations placing high esteem upon Darby in this matter.

Modern day theologians have had several opinions and views on the rapture of the Church, but no view has received more criticism than a pre-tribulation view. More people in a post-modern world will hold to such views as a post-trib or even a mid-trib, but when there is even the smallest mention of the doctrine that is the pre-tribulation rapture, most scholars and opposers in the area of eschatology run in fear or throw up their hands in repulsive declaration saying that it is nonsense and not worthy of further research and study.

This writer begs to differ in that there is so much more that has to be observed in Scripture and the context can clearly point to there being a pre-tribulation rapture and that being the most effective view of the return of Christ and the removing of the church that there is. Darby simply would not have put so much effort into convincing people of this doctrine being the doctrine if he did not think it was what God was telling him what needed to be taught. If the support for this end of days doctrine appears numerous places in Scripture, then this is what should be believed and taught by the church.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture in Scripture

Eschatology first and foremost means “study of the end”. When people who spend the majority of their time arguing that their ways about how the world will end is correct spend their time focusing on bringing people down, on tearing down the view of others, there is not a great deal of joy for those few people in the world who believe this doctrine. The writer of this paper can testify the experience of ridicule and negativity first hand as there were plenty of instances in which people had blatantly accused him of being “crazy” and “misinformed” The hope is that when one takes an examining look at the scriptural evidence surrounding the pre-tribulation rapture, that there will be a great deal more understanding and insight into how this doctrine is correct and sound.

Looking through the Bible to find a specific topic to discuss can prove to be a challenge because often times the reader of God’s Word needs to look up topics of such interest as prayer, discipleship, fellowship, worship, etc, but when it comes to the end times, there can be challenges that one would face as it is not as plainly visible as the gospel is presented (cf. John 3:16 or 14:6), and it would take carefully thought out research and time spent devoted to finding where the Rapture occurs. Dr. John Walvoord in his book The Rapture Question explains this further by saying that:
“The rapture question, while neglected by modern liberals, is one of the main areas in dispute in conservative eschatology. The Scriptures predict that the church will be raptured or “caught up” to heaven at the coming of the lord for them. The word rapture is from rapere, found in the expression “caught up” in the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. If this is a literal, future event, it is a most important aspect of the hope of the church.”

The first obvious place that believers will seek after to find out about the end times is the book of Revelation. However, nowhere in the Gospels or the book of Revelation is the word “rapture” mentioned. Believers must rely on what Paul talked about in his letter to the Thessalonians. The negative criticism that is received from reading this book lies in the simple fact that John was having a vision. Unfortunately for John, the context of these books are taken and twisted to a degree where it has been shown for there to be many different views on the Rapture and on the Millennium for that matter. Hermeneutic is the very basic drawing point when it gets into how the Biblical approach to the end times is viewed.

Different theologians/different views equal different views on the matter as a whole. The majority of the professors on staff at Southern seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (in the opinion of this writer) are not for a pre-tribulation rapture. Their views caused a great deal of stress for the writer of this paper, and that was a big consideration into the selection of this writer’s educational institution. Believers in Christ should not be in such blatant opposition over an issue in scripture that is so carefully laid out.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: “Our Blessed Hope”

Believers really should begin their journey of finding out the truth about the pre-tribulation rapture in the spot where it is examined the most; by the apostle Paul. He describes the event using statements such as “those who have fallen asleep” meaning believers who are already dead. Believers who are dead will be risen first, and be brought to the presence of God the almighty. “Then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them in the clouds and we will meet the Lord in the air, in the twinkling of an eye, we will be changed”. In the NIV Life Application Bible, there are great amount of resources that will help readers to better understand the passages of Scripture. Particularly speaking in terms of reference, this publication of the Bible by Zondervan in 2005 offers footnotes to better explain the passage. Listen to what it had to say concerning 1 Thessalonians 4:13:

The Thessalonians were wondering why many of their fellow believers had fallen asleep (died) and what would happen to them when Christ returned. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to understand that death is not the end of the story. When Christ returns, all believers – dead and alive – will be reunited, never to suffer or die again.

The truth of the matter is when it comes to discussions concerning eschatology, especially those in which the subject of a rapture come up, not a great deal of emphasis is placed upon this. Dr. John Walvoord again speaks of the Rapture in his book The Blessed Hope and The Tribulation, explaining the significance behind this passage:

Although the rapture of the church was introduced by Christ the night before His crucifixion as recorded in John 14:1-3, the details of the rapture were not revealed in Scripture until 1 Thessalonians was written. It is not too much to say that 1 Thessalonians 4-5 is probably the most important passage dealing with the rapture in the New Testament. Additional passages are 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; but more detail is given in 1 Thessalonians 4 than in any other passage. Probably more pretribulationists base their conclusion for a pretribulation rapture on 1 Thessalonians 4 than on any other single passage of Scripture. By contrast, evidence indicates that posttribulationists find little of a positive character to help them in the details of this revelation. It would seem natural, if the great tribulation actually intervened before the rapture could be fulfilled, that this would have been a good place to put the whole matter into proper perspective, as Christ did in Matthew 24 in His description of the events leading up to the second coming.

Modern Day Influence on the Rapture

The modern age has had severe impact on Evangelical Christianity, and as such, there are examples of what the Gospel has done to people who do not have the “Blessed Hope” of their salvation in Christ. Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are best known in the literature circles for their series of books: Left Behind. The series follows the story of a group of people who did not believe in Christ and what happens when the Rapture of the church occurs. There are 16 books in the series, all of which chronologically point to the various points of the tribulation (and even before the events of the end times themselves).

The people soon realize that they have a great deal in common and they seek the help of a pastor of a church who was also left behind. Who lied to the church and told people that they did believe in Christ, but they really did not. Dr. LaHaye used his knowledge of the doctrines of eschatology to portray what he thought would be what the end would be like to the readers, and Jerry B. Jenkins took his skills as a writer to a masterful level. With the release of the twelfth book, Glorious Appearing in 2004; LaHaye and Jenkins’ fame as a writer had 7 of the 12 books earn positions on the New York Times Bestseller list, totaling sales of the series had surpassed 65 million and people were enthused by these series. The writer himself would listen to the audio books of the series, as well as read the young adult version, which paralleled the adult series. The effect of these books was that there was a genuine spark of interest in the writer’s life to examine the doctrines of eschatology and eventually impacted a solid foundation into the study of a pre-trib rapture.

The Time and Date of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church

There is no way to distinguish “when” the Rapture will happen. Historians, theologians, and scholars have tried to determine the date of this event in order that they might tell people to be watching for Jesus’ returning, but the people of God cannot put a date on this event. More than one occasion throughout history, people have tried to place dates on the coming of Christ. It is total blasphemy, considering the words that Jesus himself said to his disciples when they asked him “Lord when will you establish your kingdom?” and Jesus basically responded to them “its for me to know and you to find out”.

As a believer in the Lord, the writer’s simple understanding of the matter is that to put a date on what God will do is simply not a good thing. God is God and we are not. We are not meant to know these things. Many evangelists, such as Harold Camper, the President of Family Radio Inc. This man has put several dates as to when the rapture has to happen, and his latest prediction is for May 21, 2011. Lunacy such as this cannot be met with good results. To try and say that God will do this or God will do that is a horrible thing to do. The website where this information was found, stated that the world would be consumed by fire. In the knowledge of God’s word, people can clearly already say that that is not true. The book of Revelation CLEARLY points to what will happen when the world ends. To even come up with a ridiculous notion that there will be destruction that lasts for 7 days is UNHEARD of.

The Concept of “Prevail” in the context of the church

In his book, What in the World is Going On?, David Jeremiah mentions specifically that “followers of Christ who are raptured will be spared the trauma of death and the coming disasters that will occur when the tribulation breaks out upon the earth” In the view of the Pre-Tribulation rapture, there is always this famous word that should be heard by those who are doing an investigation into this doctrine; “Prevail”. The word prevail means that the gospel has had precedence. It seals the souls of those who have called on the name of Christ for salvation, and it insures their eternal security. Christ himself says that “gates of hell will not prevail” against the Church (Matt 18:16).

The church that Christ is referring to in this context is viewed in a pre-rapture scenario. Once the church has been removed from the earth, the concept of “not prevailing”, no longer pointing to the church but to the tribulation saints. There will be massive amounts of slaughter, of persecution and all of these things will happen against the saints who are left behind.

The Book of Daniel does point to a time where there is an “anointed one” but very clearly, believers can get this idea in their heads; the anointed one that Daniel speaks of is NOT Christ, but the antichrist. The antichrist will persecute the believers who are stuck on earth, and these believers are not the ones in our modern day and age, these are believers who had ample opportunities to turn their faith to the Lamb who was slain for them and chose not to.

The way that there is made mention of various forms of persecution in the End of Days, the term does not point to the people of God sealed by the blood of the lamb during the “Church Age” it refers to the time when people will be persecuted by the Antichrist and that is in the Tribulation. The supposition that there will be protection from the wrath of the evil forces in the world does not apply to the present age in which believers in Christ live, no; this points to the believers that are left behind on earth after Christ has raptured up his bride to be with Him.

The section of the book of Daniel that includes the persecution of the saints; that is in no way referring to the saints that were raptured up. “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” (Daniel 11:36 – NIV) This ruler spoken of in Daniel is obviously the antichrist. There will be a time where there is vast turmoil on the earth and there is a blatantly evil ruler; case-in-point, the antichrist attacking the tribulation saints. The End of Days offers a look into what will happen. Revelation constantly speaks of God’s judgment, and it is told from the point of view of things that have “yet to happen”. People often will overlook the necessity to study these things because the End of Days is a less-than-important doctrine of Christianity; well that simply is not the case. Prophecy is being fulfilled daily and as modern day believers, there should be emphasis placed over these beliefs and traditions because they will continue to be fulfilled.

The Nation of Israel

There is evidence to support this specific doctrine, from the perspective of a Messianic Jew. This idea is a personal idea for this writer, and his very existence is living proof that this doctrine holds true. The people of Israel do not hold to a belief in the Messiah (believers should know that this Messiah is Christ himself), but the fact of the matter is that a Jewish person professing faith in Jesus as savior is evidence enough to show that the times are getting closer and closer to the end.
Satan had a stronghold over the lands in Europe and made people think that the Jews were an enemy that deserved to die and 6 million Jews died at the hands of Nazi Germany. What Satan intended for evil, God intended to use for good, and for his glory. After having just about everything taken from them, the surviving Jews took what little they had aside from their lives and moved to a new land. They took everything and moved to the land that was promised to them (cf. Ezekiel 37). The nation was compiled mostly of refugees (Holocaust survivors) who were left without any hope, and the nation was brought back to life (cf. Ezekiel 37:14).

The Prophetic re-gathering of Israel

The nation of Israel has been torn from limb to limb and yet God chose to bring it back to life. May 14, 1948; only three years prior to this and the war had just ended. Jews everywhere were beginning to pick up their lives that were just about taken from them. David Ben Gurion and a counsel of elders sat in the United Nations in New York City declaring to the world that Israel would be an established nation, and their homeland that they had been seeking after.

Israel as a nation has a terrible habit of being a disobedient one. Their desires are more towards pleasing themselves than it is towards pleasing God, and because of that their choices have landed them in a terrible place. David and Solomon both serve as prime examples of what precisely not to do. Their actions in choosing wives and their sinful natures as human beings show Israel how their behavior should be reflected. Because of the actions of David and Solomon, the people of Israel lacked extreme spiritual guidance that was supposed to be in place and they lived their lives without consequence and it landed the people of Israel in a foreign land as captives. God’s providence rested in the fact that despite the shame and the wondering of how they would be brought back, God still allowed the people to return to Israel. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls around the city and the people thrived in the county. Much like modern day, in which the people of Israel (The Jews) were scattered all over the world, some of which had everything taken from them, and then God decides to give them everything he promises to them in Ezekiel 37. He “breathes life” back into the people and brings them into their own land, and as a result, the people flourished. Even in the sense that Nehemiah was building a wall around the city of Jerusalem when he returned to the city with a group of people to restore what had been broken; these survivors of the war had brought everything they had back into the land God had promised them and were rebuilding their lives.

What God allowed to happen that Satan intended for evil, God turned it all around and used it for good, and for his glory. The main reason why God allows anything in this world to happen is that he brings himself glory, and in this case, his glory was being shown to the people of Israel in that their desires for a land were being given to them. This ties into the pre-tribulation rapture because the predominant view of the end times is that whenever the event does occur, the timeline basically draws its “starting point” from Israel becoming a nation. Dr. Harold Sevener, author of Israel’s Glorious Future; says that “Israel is promised a glorious future by God himself. God’s promises and covenants are based solely upon His own sovereignty. It is the promises and covenants of God that distinguish Him from the gods of the pagans” Although it is clear that this nation’s re-gathering in May 1948, proved to be a sign of prophetic significance; there is so much more that has to occur in the realm of the prophets that Dr. Sevener points it out clearly again in his book:

Scripture reveals that God will pour out His fury and vent His wrath on the empire of the anti-Christ during the 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. God’s judgment is symbolized in the sounding of seven trumpets and in the pouring out from seven bowls (vials). Only the 144,000 and the two witnesses will be exempt from the fury of these judgments.

Both Darby and LaHaye focused their beliefs around the Nation of Israel. LaHaye and Jenkins, while writing the Left Behind series, even make several instances where there are messianic characters as well as locations set in Israel. Majority of the books take place in Jerusalem; their understanding of the Scripture’s teaching on the doctrine is clear. They hold to this view in that the prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel were to come true and already had. Darby unfortunately never lived to see the re-establishment of Israel in 1948, while LaHaye had.

It is not just the nation of Israel where these prophecies will see fulfillment, it is elsewhere. Modern times have seen things such as massive earthquakes happen. Japan was recently hit by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in human history, as well as several other countries in the world, natural disasters occurring the way that they have been point to the end of days being closer, and the scriptural evidence of there being a rapture that occurs in a pre-tribulation fashion is overwhelming.


This writer’s position is that there is no other approach to view eschatology except from this very specific and precise method. The world needs their hope, and that hope is found in Christ alone. The position of the church should be one that looks forward to a happy future because their savior is in the midst of it all.

The main reason why this writer went to such lengths as to make sure that this paper was written on and talked about was the fact that there were criticisms on the view that their was a pretribulation rapture received by the peers of this writer. This writer attended Boyce College of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and on more than one occasion, the subject of eschatology was brought up in many situations and especially the pre-Tribulation rapture, and as a result, there were people who took to various opinions and told this writer that he was a fool, and that he was following through with a doctrine supported by a book author, rather than keeping up with what Scripture said.

Scripture should be the decisive factor in any defense of doctrine as a whole, and reality was for this writer, Scripture was used as a means to bring him down. In an effort to get a better perspective on life and a deeper understanding of his faith, the writer left a seminary where the truth was taught, and brought himself into a situation that was beneficial to his theological education; where he could pursue the interest of studying an eschatology that he saw fit for his hermeneutic.

Scripture does not have to be complicated when it is interpreted. The words are written down on a page in the Bible and should be taken seriously and often times literally. If Scripture says “Jesus rose from the dead on the third day” then that must be a true statement! The Word of God holds an unparalleled and unlimited amount of truth, and as it is also inerrant. With that being said, people should come to the conclusion that if the Bible tells of a day when people will go up and be taken off the face of the earth because they have accepted Christ as their personal savior; then that should be carefully believed.

Looking back at everything that has been said, the influence of the theological world has placed severe impact upon the doctrine that the Rapture of the Church will occur before the Tribulation. Despite what many anti Pre-Trib scholars may think, the evidence to support this view is astounding. There is simply too much in scripture for there to not be a pre-Tribulation rapture. Some scholars also hold to the conclusion that there is not a literal millennial reign of Christ, well without a view of the rapture in place, then there is no hope of finding out what will happen. Those seeking after the knowledge that comes from understanding what will happen in the end.
God’s greatest purpose in conveying this truth to humanity so that they might come to a saving knowledge of who Jesus is in their life and that they would not be left behind (no pun intended). Salvation is the key to fixing a life that is without hope. The writer referred to the Rapture as “Our Blessed Hope”. The coming of the Lord should be viewed as something of great joy that believers should be sharing with the world. The tribulation will be a time of great darkness in the world (worse than the world is currently experiencing), and there should be great concern among those who are sealed by the blood of the Lamb, in regards to those who have no hope. The main purpose that this paper was written was the hope that the writer’s understanding of the doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church could show people what is to come. The believers in the world have to turn their focus on sharing the Gospel, on reaching those who do not have any hope, to those who need it desperately.

Adonirum Judson Paper

I had this tradition going about last year right after my heart attack, where I'd put my papers up for people to read, that I'd written throughout the semester, these 2 were my spring semester term papers, the first of which you will read was from my baptist heritage class, concerning the life of a major figure we had to read about. This is about Adonirum Judson...



Being a missionary requires a life of ultimate sacrifice. Often times, people will give their lives for the cause of bringing the gospel to the “ends of the earth” as Christ commands in Scripture (cf. Acts 1:8) . People have gone to countries winning countless numbers of people to Christ and changing the world forever. It is not just the fact that the world would be changed, but also the missionaries themselves would be changed because they had done something for the Kingdom and the joy amid suffering that they experienced changed how they viewed the world. Adonirum Judson was the man that God called from the United States to be a light to the people of Burma. This paper will examine the life of this proponent for Burmese missions as well as look into the ideas he thought concerning baptism.

Judson’s place among the people of Burma made him into a pioneer; he was the very first person from the United States who was serving on the field in a “missions” setting. The entire concept of a person going as a missionary will obviously draw its inspiration from the Apostle Paul who carried the gospel over a cultural barrier reaching Greeks with a predominantly Jewish message. The modern process had taken its roots from William Carey who had been the man that God called from being a simple cobbler to literally changing the face of the known world with his journey that took him to Calcutta. In the sense of America, the movement that changed everything was for going onto the field in a foreign setting and changing the world for God’s glory. The world owes a great debt to his efforts for what he did and for the way that the people had learned to obtain the hope that comes from a personal relationship with Christ. It is remarkable, when the careful attention to detail is shown through the life of Judson that a comparison could be made between him and the Apostle Paul. Both went through imprisonment, sicknesses, and all varieties of trials in order to carry out what God had called them to do as proclaimers of the Gospel. For that is the essential position that a missionary takes upon himself when they go to the “ends of the earth”.
The world of evangelical Christianity owes a great debt to Adonirum Judson, because as the very first missionary from the United States, there was a great amount of education that came with his position. The American Revolution had just ended and Judson was born in Massachusetts in 1788, the son of Adonirum Judson Sr., Judson’s academic intellect allowed him to attend what would later become Brown University and graduated from there as the valedictorian at the age of 19. The concerns of the day would have been over such dogmas as baptism or the Lord’s Supper, and even church membership (considering the previous decades of the 18th century had included bouts of burning people at the stake for the heresy of “witchcraft”)

Missions was NOT a topic of great interest in the American protestant church, and now, there were people like Judson who were becoming the very first people of their day to take the step of faith and go out to a world of “heathens”. Through his bout with a falling out from the faith, Judson found himself attending Andover Theological Seminary and back into the faith. He had become good friends with a deist/skeptic who was leading him away from the faith. But praise be to God in heaven that his life was turned back to the Gospel and the truth that encompasses that realm. Judson would be ordained as a minister by the Tabernacle Church in Salem on February 6th, 1812. He married his first wife Ann the day before that.

On February 19, 1812, The ABCFM (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions) appointed Judson and his wife to be missionaries to Burma. This event is marked in the United States by the fact that there are now several thousand Southern Baptist American missionaries in foreign fields across the planet reaching the lost with the gospel. A totaling amount of more than five thousand American missionaries appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention now serve on the field.

Anderson’s point was to show people of the day and age, that when missionaries were called to the field, there was not a single force on heaven or on earth that could stop them from doing what the Lord had called them to do. God was at work in Judson’s life and after he had left Massachusetts with his wife, his life would get harder as time went on. Judson’s life only got harder as he went through a total of 3 spouses.
Cecil Hartley spent a great deal of time in his Memoir about Judson discussing the life situation of Adonirum and his 3 wives that he had in succession. Ann Hasseltine Judson who died during childbirth in 1827 , Sarah B. Judson who died of an illness while onboard a ship in 1845 , and Emily C. Judson who died a peaceful death in 1854 . It seems almost cruel to some that such a great man of God would be experiencing such hardships, but when one were to compare the life of Judson to that of Paul, Judson’s hardships are truly nothing. One should consider it a blessing when he or she gets an opportunity to share in the hardships that Christ faced.

The Judsons in Burma

Having left Massachusetts behind them aboard the Caravan, the Judsons were traveling across the ocean and found themselves in India prior to their arrival in Burma. Arriving in June of 1812, the time would be a difficult one for Judson and his family, as they would need to adjust to a new climate, culture and language. The majority of the voyage from the United States to Burma was spent studying the language and developing a thorough translation. However, the Judsons would spend their time in the city of Calcutta, remembering the life of the British missionary who changed the world, William Carey. They would not leave India until 1816. By this time, Judson’s first wife had died.

The concept of a life surrounded by suffering was ever present in his life, and as this writer has made mention prior to this paragraph, Judson could have a modeled life to that of Paul in that suffering in life was ever present. Every missionary on the field at one point or another experiences trials and tribulations as they serve the Lord; it is how one should view their life as a believer in that they are meant to suffer the same hardships Christ himself would have been facing.
Political Difficulties (Adonirum is in Prison)

Much like Paul had been faced with the worst of hardships in the known world, in 1824, Adonirum Judson was confronted with a terrifying ordeal. A man known in Burma as a “Spotted Face” or keeper of the prison, came to their home and had them arrested. The political state of the country proved to be a challenge for the Judsons. Although they were Americans and were not associated in any way with the British, he was confused for an Englishman and was arrested as a result. He was bound up in front of his wife and sent to a prison where he stayed for 17 months. He would be sent to an infamous Burmese death camp called Ava. Judson and 6 other missionaries were imprisoned there and all but one died upon their release. Burma’s condition as a nation was unstable as Alexander McLeish points out in Burma, Christian Progress to the Invasion; that
“while the evangelistic task in Burma is very great, the need of Christian community is equally serious. The on-going task of evangelization will fare very badly if the spiritual vitality and zeal of the Church is not only kept alive but increased.”

Courtney Anderson’s book To the Golden Shore, recounts the life ministry that Judson had and how he was able to see his first Burmese convert in May 1819; a man named Maung Nau. It has been weeks that the Judsons had been trying to get him to attend their services and finally were able to have him come and he was evangelized with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result of this person accepting Christ, Judson promptly made the decision to baptize this believer, showing the missionary movement what to do when a person accepted Christ. Modern day missionaries throughout the world have been able to model discipleship after what Judson had done. Anderson later accounts for several of Judson’s converts, talking about the establishment of churches throughout the country that were growing because of this man of God’s efforts among the people of Burma.

The movements of the missionary agencies that would develop throughout the 19th and 20th centuries would place a great deal of emphasis on the conversion of the nationals in the target areas. For a missionary to have a person come to faith in Christ is a serious matter. Judson’s career as a missionary would leave a lasting impact that would be felt and experienced in Burma well into the 21st century.
Burmese people today have given much credit to Judson because they feel he has made lasting impressions upon the country. Even those who are in the country yet do not know much about the realm of Evangelical Christianity; they will say that they had been impacted by what they had previously heard about Judson.

Modern people from Myanmar will tell foreigners that they know who Judson was and that they believe in the Jesus that he preached to them. One of those doctrines that Jesus would have been teaching was Believer’s Baptism. Judson was a man of vision as well as a man who closely followed after God’s plan for his life as a servant serving him in an overseas capacity. In any situation, in any observation of a believer, there should be careful examination and approach into their doctrine, and as such Baptism would be a topic that would be discussed among circles of Christian theologians and scholars.

Judson’s Theological Stance on Baptism

Many missionaries in the modern era have a great deal of gratitude to bestow upon the Judsons. The Southern Baptist Convention (formed back in 1845) had to spend a great deal of time developing their theological beliefs and teachings. This is especially true when it comes to baptism. Influenced by centuries of traditions and blatantly false teachings, there had to be a consensus to where the stand would be when it comes to baptism. Because Judson was the first American missionary, his developments on being out on the field would impact what future missionaries would do when it comes to conversion of people, the teaching of God’s Word, and especially the baptizing of national persons who had accepted Christ.

Wayne Grudem, a prominent modern theologian and author of the book Systematic Theology makes the point “that only those who give a believable profession of faith should be baptized.” Any servant of the Lord, especially those that hold the inerrancy of God’s Word, have to take a very careful look into this important sacrament. As the first missionary commissioned by the United States, one can only assume that Judson’s view would be a significant one.

The importance of Baptism is that the Lord has commanded it. Judson himself spoke about this in his sermon Christian Baptism, pointing out that “Christ commands those who believe to be baptized” , but later goes on to explain why it is necessary to make sure that the practice is properly observed. It is for this reason that
when any practice is proposed and enforced as a binding duty, we have a right to examine the grounds of the alleged obligation. It is not sufficient for the prosper to show, that the practice is innocent, and even compatible with every other duty: it is requisite, that he prove it binding.

Most situations in ministry in which people get baptized require a certain amount of pomp and circumstance, and Judson was careful to observe the necessity of this. He later goes on to talk in this sermon that there is a clear distinction between what should be practiced by the church (speaking in terms of the proper format) and what has been practiced in the past. To this writer, it is made abundantly clear that Adonirum Judson adamantly opposed pedobaptism (the baptism of infants) and points out that the Scriptures are taken out of context by a lot of people. Scholars believe that there are passages in Scripture that could very easily defend the doctrine for Infant Baptism, but Judson points to the standard that as believers,
we cannot suppose, that our Lord used words, in such different senses in the same speech, as would unavoidably mislead his hearers. In the latter passage, the kingdom of God denotes heaven and to receive it with the humility and docile disposition which characterize children.

The point that Judson was trying to make was that in order for a believer to approach believer’s baptism, there has to be a clear understanding that yes; one should have faith like a child, but it has to be representative of the example that Christ sets. Buried with Christ in the likeness of his death and then raised again in the newness of life.
Judson clearly displays his view on this mode of baptism later on his sermon by saying that he had experienced a difficulty before. Judson declared that
I had been sprinkled in infancy, and that this had been deemed baptism. But throughout the whole New Testament, I could find nothing, that looked like sprinkling in connection with the ordinance of baptism. It appeared to me that if a plain person should, without any previous information on the subject, read through the New Testament, he would never get the idea, that baptism consisted in sprinkling. He would find that baptism in all cases particularly described was administered in rivers, and that the parties are represented, as going down into the water, and coming up out of the water, which they would not have been so foolish as to do for the purpose of sprinkling.


Judson’s life is a life lived with trials and suffering. He went through imprisonment, and the death of 3 different wives. Many people in the land of Burma came to know Christ because Judson was able to become the man that God chose to reach them with the Gospel. But in the end, his defense of what a true picture of baptism should be had influenced missionaries for doing what the bible had taught and chose to model their method of baptism after the very fashion that Christ himself would have been baptized in; through immersion in a body of water. Judson had lived his days out serving God; translating scripture into Burmese (still used today), and reaching people with the gospel. But making a stand on the view of how baptism should be carried out was something that should be most honored in the life of Judson. His effort to expound on what Christ himself taught on baptism, and how believers who profess their salvation in Christ should be baptized. Believers must hold to a solid belief, and especially as a missionary, those who reach the people; there should be knowledge given to the national converts teaching them how to be disciples, following after the ultimate example that one can have, and that is believing in Christ for salvation and following after his commandment for being baptized. It is to be done as a public profession of faith that Christ has saved the soul of a heathen, and brought them to redemption through the blood of the Lamb. In this manner, Judson brought this message to the people of Burma, teaching them that they could be saved if they place their faith in Christ.

Stay tuned, one more paper will be posted.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer 2011 Plans

This summer will be defined as a time of preparation and enjoyment, as I won’t be leaving Texas for more than 2 weeks; here is my definite vision of what I expect to do this summer.

Part 1: Working Full-time at the Original Mattress Factory
(Need to be banking as much money as possible to save for the wedding) I am setting a personal goal for myself (financially speaking) of raising over $1500

Part 2: Fellowship means that no summer can truly be enjoyed alone. I plan to spend as much time as I possibly can with friends (and fiancé) just hanging out and enjoying life.
What would that look like?
• Hanging Out with Friends
• Watching Movies
• Playing Video Games
• Watching Anime
• Cooking Meals

Part 3: Spiritual Growth is a VITAL part of what I am preparing to do in ministry, so I intend to be reading as much as I possibly can out of God’s Word. I still have my plan of going through the entire book of Isaiah as well as the Gospels, and this is a summer I want to spend changing things about myself, so instead of my typical version of the NIV; I will be doing my reading from the NASB.

Part 4: Physical Renewal is the term I give to the fact that I have journeyed so far because of all God did in my life through me being sick to the point of near death last year. I don’t want to move backwards, I only want to move forward, so here is my chance to take my health seriously and make a lasting permanent change. My goal is to be in the 270s by the end of this summer. I want to take my commitment to doing Weight Watchers seriously. I made so much progress since the incident happened; I do not want to go backwards.

Part 5: Travel is seriously an essential word when someone thinks of the summer. Therefore, I will be enjoying some much needed time back in my home state of Florida, in which I will be planning a wedding as well as seeing old friends and introducing them to the love of my life. We will spend half of our time in South Florida and the other half in Gainesville, I am looking forward to some time spent away from Texas. I haven’t been back in Florida since January.

Part 6: Reading is always a fun thing to do in the summer, considering that it is not a requirement for school anymore, so I want to take in as much as I possibly can.

Joel’s Summer Reading List...

JOHN GRISHAM: The Chamber, The Appeal

JOHN PIPER: The Pleasures of God, Future Grace

JOHN ELDRIDGE: Sacred Romance, Desire

TED DEKKER: Paradise Novels: Showdown, Saint, Sinner (gift from Dr. Nick)

TOM CLANCEY: Clear and Present Danger, Executive Orders

FRANCIS CHAN: Forgotten God

LEE STROBEL: The Case for Christ (Southcliff Singles Ministry…6 Weeks)

C.S. LEWIS: The Chronicles of Narnia

Hoping to be done with all of these books by the end of the summer (August 25th)

I won't be going to Thailand for the purpose of saving money for the wedding, so don't count on hearing about the trip. I will have to come up with some other video I could make off movie maker this summer. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Hope you guys enjoy reading this (and I'm sure by now you realize that Part 7 of this list of plans was blogging) maybe while I'm home I'll have a picture of bagels and lox to show on here, since I fully intend to go to TOO JAY'S while I am home.


Summer Sizzles

Okay, not exactly original in the title department, but give me a break, I'm a little rusty in this department. I don't have the edge I used to have a year ago. I just couldn't find it in me to sleep tonight (well not right now anyway) so I got up and started blogging. I had made a whole list of things to do this summer, and I wanted to keep up with the list, and blogging consistently was one of those things.

I will do my best to blog each day, but considering that I work full-time, this will be a most difficult task, so don't always expect my posts to be very long, unless I really, really, really feel like talking about something going on. I am just not as dedicated as I used to be with my blog. Especially since I haven't been taking pictures every single day like I used to.

Oh well, still...look to my posts every once in a while.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Post of the Summer Season

I want to get into better habits this summer. I mean for starters, I have only been out of school officially for 3 days and I've read close to 100 pages out of something not required for school, it's just great. "The Chamber" by John Grisham. I will have a lot of books to read, especially things relating to marriage and getting married, but I still want to read the way I did last summer. Looking back at how things were last summer, it was really a different situation for me.

Here's what last summer looked liked.

1)I had just graduated from Boyce College with my Bachelor's of Science Degree in Missions (today that happened a year ago)

2)Health-wise, I had just started a new routine of treatment for myself as I had been getting involved with new doctors after my heart attack happened in April of 2010

3)I began volunteering for my parents at Chosen People Ministries

4)I was reading books, and I was blogging

I won't be doing as much traveling as I would have liked to have been doing, since I don't have the time or money to do so. I also won't be going on any missions trips this summer, but I will be going down to Florida to plan a wedding. The love of my life is here in Texas with me and I am so blessed. I will write again more during the weekend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Sun Sets on the Final Day of the School Year

This is the start of a brand new season for me. Reality is that summer is the prime time for catching up on a ton of things. Reading for fun (never happens during the year), watching movies, going to do stuff with friends, it's just a great time of fellowship and rest from the overwhelming task of being in school. I am looking forward to being in a position where I am just WORKING and enjoying my life and no stress involved.

I will write more after the major day of turmoil (tomorrow) passes.