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On my recent trip to Australia to preach at the National Baptist Fellowship, I preached a series of messages on Abraham from Genesis chapter 12. I quoted a statement that I had read in A. W. Pink’s book Gleanings in Genesis. I have made the statement for years in my preaching, and to my shame had not given it a great deal of thought. However, a young Australian man in his early twenties came to me and respectfully showed me that the statement is not biblically true. He apologized for correcting me. Immediately I told him that he was like the Bereans who, “…searched the Scriptures…to see if those things were so…” I commended him for his respectful approach and for showing me Scripture that was in keeping with the teaching of the Word of God. The question was not, “Who is right?” but rather “What is right?”
In this semester’s evangelism class, I have thirty-four young men preparing for the ministry of evangelism. I was relating to them a few of the many instances in my ministry where I have been given an ultimatum, “If you preach for him, you can’t preach for me.” A junior student asked, “What do we do when we are given that kind of an ultimatum?” I responded, “Live by two words: do right.” Again it is not “Who is right?” but “What is right?”
The Ambassador Baptist College students are frequently told that nothing in the Bible says they must be loyal to a man or an institution, but rather they must be loyal to the Bible. God is a God of truth (Deut. 32:4). The Bible is truth (John 17:17). Jesus is truth incarnate (John 14:6). If my loyalty is to the Word of Truth and the God of Truth, it matters not what a fellowship, a college, or a person says.
Recently I communicated with a young man who seemed to be going in a new evangelical direction. He justified his actions by various statements from his friends or men after whom he had read; however, it matters not what even good men say. Actions must be based upon the Bible, and not on what men say.
This is an age of “men followers.” One of my greatest concerns is that the young men who graduate from Ambassador Baptist College may get enamored with personalities or movements that are man-centered. Isaiah 42:8 states, “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another…” Paul rebuked the Corinthians for being men-followers and called them carnal. He was very forthright in condemning anyone who would exalt him rather than incarnate Truth.
On the other hand, some have left the ranks of fundamental Baptists because they have seen excesses in some. Because of a few, they stereotype all of us as being mean-spirited, imbalanced, and non-thinkers. Obviously there are those who would fit that description who call themselves fundamental Baptists; however, the men with whom I feel comfortable are those who are independent in their thinking. Their loyalties are not to a man, school, movement, or fellowship, but to the Bible. I was delighted to meet some men in Australia that fit that very description. I thoroughly enjoyed their fellowship.
Without exception, every graduate of Ambassador Baptist College who has departed from the philosophy that he was taught here has been influenced by personalities or by authors after whom he has read. He follows men or movements, but not the God of Truth, the Word of Truth or the Incarnate Truth.
The songwriter says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”