Larry and Jane Hudson are dear friends from the Main Street
They recently invited me to Sunday dinner following the AM worship
This special couple was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and
asked me to go along and commemorate the happy occasion.
Our destination…? Owensboro, Kentucky and
Everybody in this neck of the woods knows about
Moonlite. Think “casual dining.” Think
“family feel.” Think
BBQ buffet. Underline the word “all.” Hungry guests
stand in line with a plate
and then help themselves to a smorgasbord of tasty, home-style dishes.
Buffet. Choose what you want. Skip what you don’t want.
Go back as many times as you wish. This is gastronomical heaven. I
plate with country favorites—mashed potatoes, pulled pork and
green beans, but
then skipped the macaroni and cheese, gravy and rolls.
I left the restaurant full as the proverbial tick.
Okay, maybe not full—I stopped just one bite shy of gluttony.
The meal was great. The Christian company was even
It occurs to me that many preachers treat the Word like
a trip to Moonlite. They fill their theological dinnerware with
favorites. They “eat” what their doctrinal belly
desires (Philippians 3:19),
but then pass over those food items that their denomination deems
For instance, some heap their plate with faith, but then consciously
the Scriptures teach about baptism. They select some
of God’s Word, but not the sum
of God’s Word. They claim to be
“Bible-believing,” but then do
a “Moonlite” on those passages that teach the
necessity of immersion.
the New Testament require baptism? You say, “No.”
Look again. According to Matthew 28:19-20,
baptism is involved in my
becoming a disciple of Christ. According to Mark
16:15-16, baptism is
something I must engage if I want to be saved. According to Acts
baptism is something I must undergo in order to be forgiven of my sins.
to Acts 8:12-13, 38,
something to which I must submit, even if it means changing my
to Acts 10:48,
baptism is something I must obey because it has been commanded.
According to Acts 16:14-15, 33,
baptism is something I will yield to—immediately—in
order to be faithful to the
Lord. According to Acts 22:16,
baptism is something I must do if I desire my past sins to be taken
away (cf. Acts 9:6).
According to Romans 6:3-7,
baptism is that which makes a difference (slave of
sin vs. slave of righteousness) in my life. According to 1
baptism is the means by which I enter the body or church (cf. Ephesians 1:22-23).
According to Galatians 3:26-27,
baptism is the way that I become a child of God. According to 1 Peter 3:21, baptism
Do you have your Bible handy? Read through Jeremiah 36. Jeremiah
prophesied during the
closing days of the southern kingdom of Judah. On
occasion, the prophet received a divine message from God and then had
written on a scroll (vv. 1-3). This inspired document was later read to
Jehoiakim by Jehudi (vs. 21). When Jehudi read that the kingdom-nation
overthrown by the Babylonian empire, Jehoiakim decided he
anymore. The arrogant ruler took a scribe’s penknife, cut up
the scroll, and
then cast it into the fire until it was consumed (vs. 22-24).
would have liked Moonlite. Eat what you want.
Skip what you don’t want. Mashed potatoes
“Yes,” dinner rolls “No.”
Authoritarian rule, “Yes,” servile bondage
“No.” Faith “Yes,” baptism
Dear reader, the Bible is not a self-serve restaurant.
We can’t pick out the parts that we like and then reject or
cut out the
portions that don’t strike our fancy. We must declare and
15:16) the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27; cf. 2 Timothy 4:2-4),
including those passages that teach the necessity
Is your preacher offering some of
God’s Word, or the sum
of God’s Word? “The sum of your word is truth, and
every one of your righteous
rules endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).