HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS
FAMILY MATTERS AND OTHER ASSORTED ITEMS
When I began “Hugh’s News & Views” back on November 11, 2010, I said that in addition to biblical, religious, moral, spiritual, political, social, entertainment, and recreational matters (whatever I was in the mood to write about when I sat down to the computer), I also, from time to time, would write about purely personal and family matters. Such is the case with the first part of this week’s edition. Since “News & Views” goes to many extended family members, as well as a number of long time friends, it is a means of communicating and staying in touch with them. The latter part of today’s edition is a potpourri of various items.
On Sunday, September 15, our son Brett was appointed to serve as one of the elders of the Stuart (Florida) Church of Christ. We are extremely proud of Brett and his devotion to the Lord and the Lord’s church. We also are proud of Karen, our daughter-in-law, and our two grandchildren, Bryce and Carson. (One is not biblically qualified to serve as an elder in the church without a good family.) We know that Brett will be a good shepherd because he is a good man. Jan and I were delighted to recently spend several days with Brett and his family in Florida and to witness his appointment to the Stuart eldership.
Interestingly, on September 15, Bryce, our grandson, celebrated his 16th birthday. Jan and I were pleased that we could not only witness Brett’s appointment to the eldership, but also be with the family to celebrate Bryce’s birthday. (Jan will be returning to Florida in a few weeks to help celebrate Carson’s birthday.)
Earlier this year Brett was made the president of the Stuart site of Triumph Aerostructures, an aeronautical engineering and manufacturing firm for which he has worked the past two years, but an industry in which he had previously worked for 15 years. Mothers and daddies never get too old to rejoice in the successes of their children, even their adult children! We are unabashedly proud of Brett and his accomplishments, both professionally and in his service to the Lord and the church. He is a hard worker, who has always taken seriously anything to which he commits himself.
Moving from family matters, I now pass to some other items. A few weeks ago I wrote of the “rebaptism” of the 12 men in Ephesus who had earlier received the outdated baptism of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1-7). While I think I can build a good case for my understanding of the incident, the “bottom line” is that something was wrong with their previous baptism! Paul taught them “the way of God more accurately” (as Aquila and Pricilla had done with Apollos, Acts 18:26) and they were baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 19:5). One obviously significant lesson to be learned from this event is that the New Testament has a high view of baptism. Baptism is not an incidental “outward sign of an inward grace,” something not really essential to one’s salvation, or something that one should “wait until next spring when the weather warms up” to take care of! Neither is it a mere sprinkling, pouring, or dabbing of a bit of water on a baby, young person, or adult. Baptism is a clear command of the gospel intended for those who have come to a personal faith in Christ, and a vitally essential element in the scheme of redemption. Paul believed it important enough for the 12 men in Ephesus to get it right! There are various things that can make a person’s baptism wrong today. It may not be the same thing that made the first baptism of the 12 men in Ephesus wrong. But when one’s baptism is wrong for whatever reason (not a proper candidate, wrong “mode,” wrong purpose), the wise thing to do is to make a second trip to the water and get it right. At the very least, the case of the 12 men in Ephesus under the instruction of the apostle Paul provides us with that clear and infallible precedent.
Via a recent Edward Fudge email (I somehow lost the date of it) I found this quotation from Shaun Rufener significant: “Atheism is interesting. I have a hard time following the philosophy behind it, but I do believe a clearer image is emerging behind its poetic doors. It appears that there was nothing originally, and then through the process of no time nothing happened to nothing, which then magically erupted for no apparent reason, which created lots of everything, which in turn magically for no reason rearranged into little self-dividing and replicating pieces of stuff, that eventually turned into me. It makes perfect sense. I dont know why I could not see it before. (Facebook: October 16, 2012).” Rufener obviously was writing with his tongue buried very deeply in his cheek.
The preceding reminds me of the consequences of denying that God created all things as described in Genesis 1. Such a denial can only lead to the illogical conclusion that “nothing got busy and created something”! How refreshingly different is the simple opening statement of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
Hugh Fulford September 24, 2013