Evidently the Mayan Calendar Was Right

mayan calendar

Ladies and gentlemen, the end of the world is upon us. Or at least, according to some, that must be the case.

I have been giving you a running acount of the various events and happenings at Reformation Alive Baptist Church. As you know, the original Elder/Leader was Eric Redmond. And he had two elders serving with him – Billy Wommack and HW (HW is trying to develop a branding and doesn’t really want his name associated with this site). Eric had to leave because his main job at Washington Bible College was going horribly unstable and was not providing a dependable income for him to care for his family. So he had to find another source of income.

He ended up at New Canaan in Washington DC. A second elder, HW, also left, leaving us with a single elder, Billy Wommack. But before the first two elders left, they put me forward for consideration as an elder. The church, in their questionable wisdom, seemed to think I am elder material, so they affirmed me as an elder.

It seems that Billy got really stressed in serving as the primary elder. I mean really stressed. His throat almost blew up. His voice faded. He got, and stayed sick much more than he had before. At one point, he was out for the better part of a week. Between his family, his job, and the responsbilities of elder, he was burning himself out rather quickly.

After a good deal of consideration, Billy decided he needed to step down from his job as elder/pastor. This past week he did exactly that. And now…wait for it…I’m the last elder standing.

That’s right. I am now the sole elder for Reformation Alive Baptist Church. I’ll be preaching next week. And the week after that, and the week after that.

And now I get to worry about such things as Church growth (spiritually, and NOT just in numbers), what they are taught, encouraging them to memorize Scripture, study (seriously) on their own, and support one another. I have to give them encouragement to continue on in the face of some rather bothersome events. I have to help them not turn back and quit.

Being an elder was bad enough. But at least I didn’t have to worry about getting the contents of a sermon exactly right and making sure it addresses the needs of the people. And while I doubt I will need a sweat rag (I have no intention of either jumping around or shouting at the top of my lungs), I will have to study, every week, for mulitple hours. And then I have to write, and rewrite, all the time depending on God to guide me.

Think about it. It’s easy enough to beat people over the head with Scripture. It’s much more difficult to wash them with the water of the Word. It’s a lot easier to grab a sheep and shove him under the water than to coax him into the water on his own. And as most of you know, I’m more a beat and grab kind of guy. But with the grace of God, I can in fact become (dare I say it) a kinder and gentler Melvin.

The trustees and I are laying out a growth (numbers this time) program. We want to have a greater influence on the community. But we also want to bring in more men as possible candidates for elder.

We have one guy who is so Reformed that he almost has a German accent. But he is very hesitant to teach (one of the primary requirements for elder) Another is pretty good but is in what I would call the “cage stage” of the Doctrines of Grace (not exactly gentle in his dealings). It doesn’t take very much to set him off with respect to defending those doctrines of grace.

God willing, for the next six months, we get to see what God has planned for us. And like Abraham, we get to walk not really knowing where the path will lead. All I know is that we are headed in a direction God wants us headed (according to His word), and that we have an opportunity to build a spiritual oasis amid a desert of pimps and profiteers.

As I said, I’m preaching this coming Sunday. It will be from Romans 12:3-13. I’ll be covering the responsibilities the believer has toward his fellow Christians. Next week, God willing, I will be preaching from Romans 6. And the week after that, Romans 7, then Romans 8, then Romans 9.

Depending on how our time goes, we will then go verse by verse through Philemon and 1 and 2 Peter.

For through the grace given to me I urge you to give us a visit. Service starts at 11:30 and is held in the great hall of Our Savior Lutheran Church – 4915 Saint Barnabas Rd, Temple Hills MD – about a mile off the beltway, toward Silver Hill Road/Suitland.

But let me warn you ahead of time. Don’t come out if you want a performance, a smoking hot music program, a preacher dressed in a $1000 suit, or an interesting liturgy. All you’re going to get is an environment in which you can worship God in spirit and in truth, music that points you toward God and, God willing, preaching that will challenge you to understand the Word and its place in your life. After the second transition, we still preach Christ, and Him crucified.

16 Responses to “Evidently the Mayan Calendar Was Right”

  1. Chermone Says:

    Dude, I am proud of you for not shirking away from your calling. I for one will be praying for you. Go with Christ my brother!

  2. Vaughn Says:

    In times past I would’ve said good luck but luck isn’t a part of ministry, but I can indeed say that may The Lord be with you in your endeavor to feed the flock of God.

    I’m also impressed with the fact that you are going to preach the rest of the 12th chapter of Romans which a lot of people who handle the word of God refuse to do for whatever reason, ignorance probably being the chief reason.

  3. Peggy Hill Says:

    Praying for you all. Everyone at Ref Alive is in my heart. I have no doubt you “will still preach Christ, and Him crucified.” Continue to be strong in The Lord and preaching and teaching sound doctrine in and out of season.

  4. DigitalExegete Says:

    “And while I doubt I will need a sweat rag (I have no intention of either jumping around or shouting at the top of my lungs)…”

    Really? How can you preach in a Baptist church and not do that? Besides, it’d be a great way to . . . well, N/M. I’d rather not become disowned. =)

    God Bless Da—-er, God Bless! And I will be praying for you as well

    • mhjones2001 Says:

      You gotta understand: We are Reformed Baptist, not Full Gospel Baptist. Think Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bowie without the Westminister Confession (The London Confession of 1689 is much more direct and, in my humble opinion, much more consistent). But either way, we (me, the trustees, and my advisers) have quite the difficult row to hoe for at least the next 6 months.

      Appreciate your prayers.

  5. Pearson Says:

    I have the pleasure of adding you to the group of men I pray for who are of the pastoral persuasion. Blessings to you and the body GOD has placed you over.

  6. Cushie Says:

    You said don’t come if you expect a preacher dressed in a $1000 suit, man, that’s too cheap compared to the likes of Creflo!

    Mel, this is good news: I had to learn to focus on the filled seats rather than the empty ones, and by God’s grace, invest my all into those folks that came. I trust that in due season there will be a harvest in my little church and I promise that I will pray for the Lord’s blessing on your ministry.

    (MN: You’re right – $1000 isn’t much for one of their suits. I just can’t wrap my head around anyone paying many thousands of dollars for a suit. But especially not a pastor/elder. I guess you avoid thinking about what you find abominable.

    And yes, I consider it a test of my motives to stand before the congregation and preach as carefully and “professionally” as I would if there were a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand.

    Tomorrow I preach on Romans 12:3-13 [though I will likely only get as far as vs 6].)

    • strawgert Says:

      I’m a very frugal person and the only time I ever buy anything that is not on sale is when I’ve made purchases for people whom I really care for and can’t find anything decent looking that is not on sale; for example, like my mom (now deceased) and once I even bought my mother-in-law (a very sweet lady, now deceased) a white dress that was not on sale because she needed it for something special she was doing in her church and was having problems finding it in the city in which she lived. I purchased the dress in love, but not before I looked in all the “on sale” racks. I couldn’t find a decent looking dress that I felt was worthy of this lady whom I dearly loved, so I ended up purchasing one that was NOT on sale, as it was the best looking dress that I could find in the price range that I set limits upon.

      I never will understand how these jack-legged pulpit pimps have absolutely no conscience in how they continuously fleece their flocks. Cash Dollar said he was thinking of installing something like you see in New York’s subway system and the members of his church would need to insert and use their debit or credit cards into a slot and pay their tithes using the entrance system in order to gain entrance into the church. I saw this video on youtube. No way I’d degrade myself with this ungodly man by using my debit card to pay admission in order to get into “his” “church.”

      Another pulpit pimp (I cannot remember his name) was bragging about all the expensive homes and cars he had and all the expensive cars he’d purchased for all his children, then went on to say that he’d just paid several thousands of dollars for a PUPPY! I can’t, for some reason remember the actual amount he said he paid, but, for some reason I think the amount he bragged he’d paid was more than $15,000 but less than $23,000. I’d never pay for a puppy and besides that, I don’t need another mouth to feed. Another thing, the people in that man’s church had the silly gall to be laughing at what that ungodly man said, even when he accused them of not having the same kind of sense he had and that is why none of them had the kinds of cars and homes that he and his children had.

      If links are acceptable, I’ll try to locate the video and post it on this web site.

      This is a great website. This isn’t my first visit here, but it has been awhile since I was here. This site, and the Independent Conservatives site, are two of the best sites on the Internet for real truth.

  7. oldpathprchr Says:

    Good to hear you’re leaving Las Vegas out the church…too much of that anyway. If Jesus is not holding your interest?….well?

  8. cryloud Says:

    Welcome to new joys, new problems, and new works, Pray for energy. that Romans 12 “one another” is a great passage for your beginning. its better to have a squad of navy seals than a division full of gomer pyles. Be blessed. Orlando Florida is with you.

    (MN: That last pretty much sums it up. I was trying to think of how to put the objective in words – no trite, non-religious sounding words. SEALS vs Gomer Pyle sums it up exactly right.

    You will forgive me if I steal it and use it unashamedly?

    By the way, I have to copy my study notes over again. I just spewed coffee all over them when I busted out laughing at the contrast.
    A division full of Gomer Pyles. Shazam, Sgt. Carter.

  9. renee Says:

    Praying that God will continue to lead and guide you as you lead the church. It is indeed an awesome responsibility that has been placed upon you that only through the Grace and Mercy of God will allow you true success. I will keep you and your family in pray.

  10. David Gough Says:

    Melvin, Praying for you at RA. Blessings to you and your faithful few. I know what that’s like. Keep us in the loop. God bless you!

    (MN: Thanks. I do appreciate it. )

  11. naturalsystah Says:

    Wow I just saw this news! The Lord strengthen you and guide you as you lead His people.

  12. Raleigh, North Carolina Says:

    Just saw your post…praise the Lord that the RABC has a man in the pulpit who is going to stand on the Word and nothing else…

    My suggestion to you, but I am sure you have already done this, is to start teaching scripture verse by verse…that is what the real people of God are hungry for.

    I will be praying for you…

    • mhjones2001 Says:

      I’ve been preaching through Romans. This week I’m covering 7:7-25. Though it will probably take a couple of weeks to get through it.

      But yes, verse by verse without trying to put my own spin on it. Scripture is more than capable of taking care of itself.

  13. Danny Says:

    America: has’ In God We Trust’ on your coins. Yet you’re the largest manufacturer and exporter of pornography on earth!

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