Category Archives: Southern Baptist

What Is Your Testimony? Do You Have One?

I Was At a Retreat

Man, it has been a while since I sat down to write. You wouldn’t believe how hectic it has been if I told you, so I won’t.

So, one thing I did do is start up a new Sermon.net account and uploaded my most recent sermon to it.

Now, you may not agree with me on all things Christian, but one thing we should agree on is that one is not born a Christian; one becomes a Christian. That is the main point I tried to push in the sermon I preached before we went to the TBC’s (Tennessee Baptist Convention) Ministers and Wives Retreat in Pigeon Forge, TN.

I’ll share more about this event a little later, but this photo is from the first evening during a Q&A time.

Have a Testimony?

I believe there are a lot of people who call themselves Christian but have never been “born again.” You see, becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is one thing, but becoming a child of God, redeemed, a “new creation,” is something that should be narrowed down to an event, a point in time, a moment of “rebirth.”

Sure, I’m sure there are individual examples of those who could not point back to a specific time when they confessed Christ as Savior; C. S. Lewis is the first name that comes to mind. But I do believe that, as a general rule, most people aren’t like Lewis.

So, when you have the time, listen to the sermon I’ve uploaded and let me know what you think. Do you have a testimony? If so, what is it? If not, well… maybe we should explore things a little deeper.

Click on the link below 🙂

https://anthonycbaker.sermon.net/21098584

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Filed under Christianity, Preaching, Southern Baptist

When you hear the sound of the trumpet…

Nearly seven years ago (Oct. 28, 2010) I wrote the following post. Now that a new school year is upon us – and now that I’m actually pastoring in Soddy Daisy, TN, it seems appropriate to be reminded of some some things that are as true today as they were back then.


Last night (10/28/2010) I had the honor to participate in an event of community prayer.  I was invited to speak by a student at Soddy Daisy High School.  If you don’t know what happened, a whole bunch of people gathered together in the park to celebrate our right and freedom to pray, even though it was recently mandated that prayer be stopped before football games.  This meeting was organized by students who decided enough was enough.

In my closing remarks (I spoke for 7 1/2 minutes) I brought up the story of Nehemiah, specifically a part in chapter 4, verse 20. Nehemiah, in response to threats from enemies intent on stopping them from rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, set people on the wall as lookouts.   Being that the wall was big and spread out, and being that there were few people, Nehemiah came up with a plan.  He said :

“The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall.  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there.  Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah 4:19-20 NKJV

To me, and I am just little ol’ me, there should have been a lot more people present last night.  Why?  A trumpet was sounded for the body of Christ to come to the aid of not only Soddy Daisy, but for all of Hamilton County.  An attack on our freedoms, as both Christians and Americans, has come to our soil.  Why is it that our schedules and programs and our own sections of the wall are more important than stopping the enemy somewhere else?

Last night was your typical “Wednesday night prayer meeting” night.  Besides the fact that prayer is rarely the object of attention at a lot of these meetings, what would have been wrong with jumping in the church bus and heading to where the trumpet was sounding?  Where there may have been 500+ at this event last night, there should have been 1-2000.  Why were they not there? Because it was more important for local congregations to remain safe and snug in their own little sections of  “the wall.”  

Here was a prime example of LEGALISM in action, for many did not want to participate in an event that featured speakers who weren’t part of a particular denomination.  

Here was a prime example of LAZINESS, for it may have been difficult to get people together to go somewhere on a weeknight, especially if it wasn’t to Ryan’s (the local steak house) or the bowling alley.  

Here was a prime example of DENIAL, PRIDE, and APATHY, for there were others who did not attend because they either didn’t think there’s a problem, it wasn’t their idea, or they just really didn’t care.  Folks, what has been “typical” needs to be trashed.

This past Sunday I told my congregation that I would be in Soddy Daisy on Wednesday night because a trumpet had been sounded.  I went to stand in the gap with my brothers and sisters who cared enough to make a public stand against the tyranny of a few over the wishes of the people.  

In the future, when other trumpets sound,  I pray that the churches of our county and our country will rally together in defense of the few walls we have left in this nation… a nation that, for now, claims to be “under God.”

May our God truly fight for us, for we don’t seem to want to fight for ourselves.

…Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses. – Nehemiah 4:14

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Filed under baptist, Christian Living, Christian Unity, General Observations, Independent Baptist, legalism, Southern Baptist, World View

How Do You Want to be Known?

It’s not often I post a video of me preaching, but I hope this one is a blessing. A couple of weeks ago I was invited back to Mile Straight Baptist Church to preach for the evening service. It’s always an honor when Dr. Tom Goss extends the invitation.

That night I felt led to preach a sermon based on one of my personal ministry objectives. The title of the sermon was “How Do You Want to be Known?”

So, if you’ve ever wondered what I looked like preaching, this is me…who needs to lose a little weight.

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Filed under Preaching, Southern Baptist

New “Donate” Button

How to Help

I have created a PayPal “Donate Now” button specifically for this transition time in our life.

If you would like to donate in any amount, please take advantage of the “Donate Now” button in the column to your right.

Now, if you cannot give financially, I understand. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated, also.

But if you can’t give money, empty boxes wouldn’t hurt!

God bless you all, and thanks for your support.

 

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Filed under ministry, Southern Baptist

“Real” Men of God

Genuine Articles

This past weekend I went with my wife to a retreat/conference for bivocational pastors and their wives. It was sponsored by the Tennessee Baptist Convention and was held in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Believe it or not, not all pastors fly jets, have mansions, drive new cars, or wear $1,000 suits. Most pastors drive used cars, live modestly, fly only when they have to, and get their suits only when they’re on sale.

Even though the pastors most people see on television have thousands of members in their churches, the average size of the typical congregation is only in the 80’s or less. The average pastor has to work a second job, does not have a secretary, and can’t afford a personal hair stylist.

The men I spent time with last weekend were the real deal: humble, hardworking, men of God. They were the real deal, the genuine article.

Genuine People

One thing that people tend to forget is that pastors are people, too. They have families, bills, and a list of their own issues. They have problems like the rest of everybody, it’s just that it’s hard to share them with the congregations they serve.

A lot of people accuse Christians of thinking we have it all together, but we don’t. As a matter of fact, what makes us better pastors is when God allows us to go through struggles and trials and all the associated pain in order for us to have first-hand knowledge of His grace.

On the first night of the conference I attended, in a breakout session for the men, one particular pastor poured his heart out about his wayward 19-year-old son. He wept as he said, “What I need is some hope.” It didn’t take long before this brother, this wounded spiritual warrior, was brought up to the front of the room. There, as he knelt beside a table, the rest of us wept with him, prayed with him, and encouraged him.

How did we encourage him? It’s because we were real people fighting some of the same battles, feeling some of the same hurts, and he knew he was not alone.

praying pastors

THESE are the REAL pastors. These are the real deal. These are NOT the men wanting your money; they’re the ones who’d give you their last dollar. These are the men who care for your souls. These are the real men of God you should get behind and support.

I am so thankful to the TBC and all those who made this minister’s and wives retreat possible. I’m also thankful for the grace of God. We are not alone, even when no one else will stand with us.

But when we do stand, and kneel, and weep, and rejoice with each other…oh, what a formidable force we are!


 

“Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. “ – 1 Peter 5:2-4 HCSB

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Filed under ministry, Parenting, Preaching, Southern Baptist, Struggles and Trials

“Sinner’s Prayer” Controversy: My Response

What better to post on a Sunday than something having to do with salvation? 

As much as I love monkey videos and sarcastic responses to political idiocy, those things have little relevance if they never point people to Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

I am writing this on Saturday morning and scheduling it to be posted on Sunday. The reason I am writing it is because I was just notified of a “like” to a comment I made EXACTLY a year ago today (Saturday) on another blog, The River Walk.

Subject: The “Sinner’s Prayer.” Is it biblical or unbiblical? Should it be encouraged or banned? Can it be effective, or is it as David Platt called it, “superstitious” and “damning”?

The following was and is my response:

Where do I start? Where do I end? I’m a Baptist. I’m a Baptist pastor. I prayed the “prayer” as a child. I am born again. I have given altar calls. I have invited others to pray the “prayer” during invitations. There’s no way I can know who was born again…or not; only God knows. However, I can tell you about fruit.

No, the prayer doesn’t save; Jesus does. But what I see so often today is an attempt by many to belittle, malign, berate, and denigrate something that is precious and effective if presented in context with the true gospel message. I have seen it so many times: young, intellectual, up-and-coming theologians stirring up strife within the body of Christ, all the while holding on to the banner of grace, attempting to change, as if change itself was something divine. Why not accept the “sinners prayer” with a little more grace and along with it teach the fundamental doctrines on which it depends to be effective?

We ARE commanded to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Rom. 10:13). Is it not a “sinner’s prayer” when a sinner prays for salvation? Yes, I believe that there have been many false conversions brought about by head-hunting preachers and evangelists leading silent, congregational “sinner’s prayers.” That is why when I give an invitation I always explain that true salvation will result in public confession (Matt. 10:32-33). In other words, I never say “Pray with me…” and then ask people to come forward. I say that if one is truly repentant, truly understands his need of new birth, truly finds himself humbled at the foot of the cross, then he will have no problem coming to an altar, making a public profession, and then being baptized.

So, to sum this up…sorry for the length…I was saved at the age of 6 (I’m 47) when I realized that I was a sinner, was going to hell, and that the only way to heaven was to accept God’s gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t have been able to recite the Apostle’s Creed, the Baptist Faith and Message, or even the Ten Commandments, but I knew I was lost. My dad led me to a little Sunday school room where we knelt at a little table, and it was there that my dad, a humble, former moonshiner, led me in the “sinner’s prayer,” because I didn’t know any better way to say what was in my little heart. That was the day I was saved, and I thank God my dad prayed with me.

That’s my 2 cents.

Do you disagree? That’s fine; it was only 2 cents. I am His, and He is mine, and that’s what matters.

bible

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Filed under Prayer, salvation, Southern Baptist, Uncategorized

Warren-ting a Response

photo (23)

This past weekend our youth went to the beautiful Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Snow was still on the ground in the Smokey Mountains as we rolled in Friday night.

There at the conference center was a Lifeway bookstore where tons of students would take time between sessions to go shopping.

photo (22)As it happened, I was standing in line, looking at an end cap stocked with Rick Warren’s new thing, The Daniel Plan, when I started some small talk with a young man in line behind me.

Me: It’s not that complicated, you know?

Student: What’s that?

Me: The Daniel Plan, it’s really not that complicated. It can be summed up in two simple steps.

Student: Really, like how?

Me: First, you go and get yourself captured by a foreign nation and held captive for a while. That’s the first step, and it always makes you lose weight. Second, just eat vegetables. Pretty simple, don’t you think?

Student: (With a puzzled look) It that all it’s about? Really?

Me: Oh, I don’t know, but that’s all the Bible really tells us about Daniel’s weight-loss plan: get captured; eat veggies.

Student: Then what else did you write about?

Me: (Equally puzzled at this moment) Huh?

rick warrenStudent: You wrote the book…you are Rick Warren, right?

Me: What?! Heck no! Wait, do you want my autograph? Buy one of the books and I’ll sign it.

Student: You’re not Rick Warren?

Me: No, sorry, I’m not.

Student: I guess that makes more sense, then. I was wondering why you would be standing in line staring at your own books.

Do I really look like Rick Warren? Really?

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Filed under fitness, Food, General Observations, Humor, places, Southern Baptist