The Pyron Avenue Baptist Church is a missionary church.
Our Church receives offerings to missions over and above the tithe. We guarantee each giver that 100% of money received for missions goes to missions.
We support Independent Baptist missionaries sent out by unaffiliated, historical, local Baptist churches of like faith and order.
We do not support missionaries sent out by boards or any facsimile thereof.
Missionaries seeking support please read the following:
"ONE STEP FURTHER"
A "Missions Position" Article
My office telephone rings with considerable frequency with calls from "independent" Baptist missionaries requesting appointments to present their work to the church I pastor. Where and how they get my number remains an unsolved mystery. The calls are usually from total strangers, with a list of references which are supposed to win me over, but usually the references are also unknown to me. Not a problem, I do not expect everyone who is sound in the faith to know me, nor do I know everyone of God's preachers and churches around the world. I will gladly leave that job to God.
Allow me to break away from my phone calls for a line or two about the kind of Baptist church I pastor. Lake Worth Baptist Church is a genuine, independent, unaffiliated, unattached, fundamental. Bible-believing (KJV naturally), evangelistic, missionary, historic Baptist church.
Now that says a lot, but it does not say it all. Our church also has a Bible conviction about the authority of the Lord's church and the kind of missionary work we should be doing and assisting.
By conviction, we do all mission work (sponsorship and support) only through the Lord's churches. In the past we sponsored two missionary families from Lake Worth Baptist Church. one to Brazil and the other to the United States. These two men and their families were directly and ultimately accountable only to our congregation. Over one hundred other churches joined us in these works and sent all their money to our church for these men. We were more than a clearing house for their finances. We extended to them authority to do their work, along with reasonable supervision, and accountable for their doctrinal, moral and financial integrity.
In addition to this, we send monthly financial support to more than 40 other church-sent missionaries from 26 other sponsoring independent Baptist churches.
By conviction, we do not support any board-sent missionaries. We are not mad about this; nor are we mad at those who say they are independent Baptists and, yet, support board-controlled missionaries. We do deeply believe the commission to carry out God's work and the authority to do that work was given only to God's first church and other scriptural churches following, Matthew 28:18-20.
But we go one step further. We have chosen, based on this Bible conviction, not to knowingly support missionaries who are church sponsored (which is right and scriptural), but who's church also supports missionaries sent out by a board(which is wrong and at the best extra-scriptural and at worse unscriptural).
Now, back to those telephone calls from those "independent" Baptist missionaries looking for appointments with the view of receiving financial help. I usually ask a few quick questions.
Who is your church home and your pastor?
What Bible does your sending church endorse and use?
Is your church connected to any organization, fellowship or association?
Does your church send any financial support to missionaries who are sent out by boards?
Many of the calls I receive from missionaries tell me their sending church is an independent Baptist church, but that it supports board-missionaries, along with church-sent missionaries.
Now hold on to your seat. Should independent Baptist churches send financial support to missionaries who are sponsored by churches who support both church-sent and board missionaries?
Here are the situations that seem to prevail.
Many present-day independent Baptist pastors and churches at one time belonged to a convention or an association or a fellowship. Years of friendships connected them with good men in their past who are still a part of those organizations. So, when they left those organizations and became truly independent, they had a choice to make. Would they keep their new conviction personal and private (just within themselves)? As pastors, should they attempt to lead their churches out of the organizations to which they are tied and declare themselves truly independent?Many have done this, for which we praise God, and great is the price that has been paid for such a courageous step.
But they may need to go one step further. Should they then seek to lead the church to do ALL of its' missionary work through God's churches alone and eliminate any and all connections with man-made boards?
Now, that is a problem. What about those good men the church has helped for years who are sent out under those boards? It does not seem right to disregard all the years of faithful service to God. What does a person do?
These are the options.
Option 1: Immediately drop all board-sent missionaries. This is not right! It is not right to immediately drop a missionary who is depending on your promised support when he is on a foreign field. Such is not ethical. There is a better way.
Option 2: Notify the missionary and the sending church of your church's conviction and make him aware that on his next furlough your church will discontinue sending financial support, so long as he is sent out by a mission board. Encourage him to study the scriptures in Acts 13 and come to his own decision.
Option 3: During the period mapped out under option 2, begin financially supporting only church-sent missionaries, thoroughly looking into their sending church's position on mission work before supporting their missionary.
Why is such a radical proposal made?
Missionaries who are truly independent and church-sent are not being supported as quickly and as generously as they might be because many independent Baptist churches send some of their money to missionaries who are board-controlled.
It is my observation that "kind produces kind." Board-missionaries will build board-inclined and board-sympathetic churches on their fields of service. Church-sent missionaries, on the other hand, would seem to be more inclined to build churches that exalt Christ and honor the Bible.
I have observed some who take a good stand on the historic lineage of Baptists back to Christ, they trumpet the loved doctrines of the Lord's churches as the bride of Christ; they practice scriptural baptism and reject any of its alien forms, they keep the Lord's Supper for their faithful church members only; and yet …choose to selectively ignore the absolute and exclusive authority that the Lord gave His churches to send missionaries to preach the gospel, establish churches, and observe the ordinances.
God's authority, which He gave to His churches cannot be delegated to any other organization. And yet, churches cannot be involved with mission boards without surrendering some of their authority.
I have heard some preachers say, "That's why I I'm an independent Baptist. We support the 'man.' We are free to support him if he is under a board or out of a church."
We are not independent Baptists to do as we please. We are Independent Baptists to be free from the pressure of a man-made group or organization so we can do what God's Word commands us to do.
I have heard other preachers say, "That board doesn't have any real control over our missionary." Really? Here is a truism: He who controls the money controls the man.
Mission boards are notorious for rejecting men because of their age or health, determining their field of service, the term of their service and furlough. If the board is not offering some service, then why would a missionary go out under one? And why would a mission-board send out a man over whom they have no actual control?
I would not be so arrogant as to try to tell any of the Lord's churches whom they should support as a missionary or to impose on another church's policy or directives. Every congregation is under the Lordship of Christ as her head. According to Hebrews 13:17, pastors will give account to God for the leadership they have given or failed to give to God's churches.
Without sounding unduly hard and harsh, let me offer this suggestion. Missionaries who are sent out of sister, independent Baptist churches that are still determined to support both church-sent and board-approved mission works ought to seek support only from churches which have their same dual position. Truly independent Baptist missionaries go begging because other missionaries are working both sides of the street (soliciting financial support from independent Baptist churches that do direct~missions only and Baptist churches that support direct and board missionaries. Let those who are sent from board inclined churches get their support from other board-inclined churches. And, let churches that have a conviction about exclusive church authority do all missionary work through the Lord's churches only.
Allow me to conclude by quoting from a booklet written in 1946 by the late Dr. J. Cullis Smith entitled. "New Testament Church Association." "Shall the Lord's churches continue to let these super-parasites suck their life blood and use their birthright? 'God forbid!' Rather, let the Lord's churches rise up in righteous indignation, and with firm fidelity to the Word of God, dispose of them in short order! I plead earnestly with the churches of the Lord and with my Baptist brethren, in the name of the crucified and risen Lord, to throw their strength to the work of the Lord, according to New Testament order. 'As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye,' 1 Corinthians 16:1." (pp. 24, 25).
Pastor Jerry D, Locke
Lake Worth Baptist Church
4445 Hodgkins Road
Lake Worth, TX 76135-2136
Pastor Joe Cook Hocking, Ph.D.
Bodine Baptist Church
3501 S.E. 59th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73135
(used by permission)