Vol 5 No. 41 A World Wide, Family of Christians Celebrating God’s Faithfulness Part II

The Baptist World Alliance is a family of churches and denominations that was founded in 1905 in England.  It represents 214 denominations and associations, over 37 million members and 105 million believers.  We have very able and strong leadership from our Canadian Baptist Ministry (CBM) General Secretary, Gary Nelson who has just completed his term as a Vice President and from Harry Gardner, the former Executive Minister of the Atlantic Baptists.  Western Canada has been represented well by three former CBM Presidents who later became BWA Vice Presidents; Roy Bell, Shirley Bentall and Bruce Milne.

As you know from previous Newsletters the BWA met in Amsterdam this summer to celebrate 400 years of Baptist witness beginning with British religious refugees meeting in Holland to experience their faith in Christ.

Two weeks ago, we read the reports of the General Secretary and of the President of the BWA.  This week is

a sampling of the daily worship times amongst delegates and secondly, the link to the 400th Anniversary Service in a Mennonite Church in Amsterdam.



In Christ,



Permission to publish these order of services and readings has been given to us by the BWA.  These are part of the documents distributed at the Annual Gathering in Ede, Netherlands, July 27-August 1, 2009



Order of Morning Service

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Celebrating Baptist Preachers

Approach to God

Musical Prelude


Responsive Sentences

Praise be to the Lord,

for he has showed his wonderful love to me.

Love the Lord, all his saints,

for the Lord preserves the faithful.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

God’s compassion never fails.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens

and your faithfulness to the skies.


Taste and see that the Lord is good;

Blessed are those who put their trust in God.




Song ……… We have a Gospel to proclaim (European)


Responsive Reading…… Psalm 89

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, for ever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established for ever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
   Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and awesome above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
   who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
 Blessed be the Lord for ever. Amen and Amen.


Act of Thanksgiving for Baptist Preachers

Let us praise the Lord our God

who has raised up preachers of the Gospel

to tell forth the Good News of the salvation

that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We remember………



Continue, enabling God,

to uphold those who preach the Gospel.

Strengthen and support them in this high task that you assign

That, diligent in their preparation to preach

they may never lose hope

even when they cannot see

the impact of their proclamation.

Keep us alert and attentive to your word

And accomplish your own good purpose.

We pray in Christ’s name. Amen


Song……….. Blessed Word of God   (African)


The Word of God

New Testament Reading … Romans 10:13-15 (NRSV)

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”


Witnesses – Baptist Preachers

  • George Truett
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • Rubens Lopes
  • William Tolbert


Song…………… O for a thousand tongues to sing (European)

Closing Prayers

God of salvation,

in your prophet, Jesus the Christ,

you announce freedom

and summon us to conversion.

As we marvel at the grace and power of your word,

enlighten us to see the beauty of the Gospel

and strengthen us to embrace its demands.

O God, our teacher and judge,

hear our prayer

when we gather at the table of your word.

Enrich our hearts with the goodness of your wisdom

And renew us from within,

That all our actions, all our words,

May bear the fruit of your transforming grace,

Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.



May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to God.

May the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in God’s service.

May the joy of the Lord fill our souls.

And may the blessings of God almighty,

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Be among us and remain with us always. Amen. 


Musical Postlude

Celebrating Baptist Preachers – Readings

George Truett, “Passing of Religious Opportunity,” in A Quest for Souls Comprising All the Sermons Preached and Prayers Offered in a Series of Gospel Meetings Held in Fort Worth, Texas, June 11-24, 1917.  New York:  Harper and Bros, 1917, pp. 361-167.

I would speak this evening on this exceedingly solemn theme:  “The Passing of Religious Opportunity.”  It is suggested by this solemn text, from the nineteenth chapter of Luke:  “And when He was come near, He beheld the city” – the city of Jerusalem – “and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known” – or if thou hadst recognized – “the things which belong unto thy peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

The text suggests the solemn word that I am to leave with you – the passing of religious opportunity.

Here is our text we have a picture of the Savior, our Divine Lord, sobbing out His great heart, as He looks over the city, His own country’s fair city, the city of Jerusalem.  There must have been a compelling reason why Jesus thus wept, as He looked over the city.

The reason was that many of the people in that city of Jerusalem had allowed their religious opportunity to go by unimproved.  They had neglected it.  The things of light and leading and love from God had all been overlooked.  Jesus had taught and had called, but they had gone on unheeding, and so His compassionate heart overflowed through His eyes, and we have here the picture of Him sobbing over the fact of the passing of religious opportunity.  Isn’t that a fearful possibility in a human life, that religious opportunity, gracious and precious, may come and may go by, and may be return less forevermore?  Satan does not care if men and women come to the house of God, and to public services such as these, and are attentive and serious and deeply moved, if only they will let the religious opportunity pass, and be unimproved. On, dreadful possibility, that religious opportunity may come and pass by, and the highest things of the soul be lost and forfeited forever!

Mark you this.  Every inclination that the soul has to come to God, every longing in your spirit to be right with God, and to be forgiven of Him, and to be saved by Him, is the direct drawing, the direct work, of God’s good Spirit on the human heart.  The desire to be right with God does not come from the human flesh.

Now, our text points for us, to-night, the exceedingly solemn truth that the visits of God, in the person of the Divine Spirit, may be resisted.  In the case of these men and women of old, in the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus lived and loved, where He preached and prayed, where He wept and died, there many resisted His heavenly influences, and put them all away, and went the downward way.  So we are confronted to-night with that awful possibility in human life, that a rational, responsible, human being can say yes or say no the call of God.

Jesus was looking over a city which He had sought to help, but many had failed of His help, and Jesus was sobbing out His heart, as in effect he said:  “Light is gone and opportunity has passed.”

And when opportunity passes, how fearful is the fate of such soul!


Celebrating Baptist Preachers – Readings

Extract from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, “A Call to Holy Living” based on Matthew 5:47 and delivered at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in London on January 14, 1872.


Too many persons judge themselves by others; and if upon the whole they discover that they are no worse than the mass of mankind, they give themselves a mark of special commendation; they strike a sort of average amongst their neighbours, and if they cannot pretend to be the very best, yet, if they are not the very worst, they are pretty comfortable…

The nests of such people ought to be grievously disturbed when they read the chapter before us, for there the Master insists upon a higher standard than the world’s highest, and tells us that except our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.  In our text, the great Master asks of those who are professors of his faith, that they should not only do as much as others to prove their title, but that they should do more than others; and he makes this a test question concerning their being really his followers:  “What do ye more than others?”

I shall try, this morning…to show that there are grounds for expecting more from Christians than from others.  There are legitimate reasons why the world, the church, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may expect more from Christians than from the rest of mankind.

And, the first is, because they profess more….  A Christian professes himself to be a renewed man; he has learned the evil of sin, repented of it, and fled from it to Christ Jesus; he professes to have been pardoned, and to have received a new heart and a right spirit; he professes, also, to be a child of God, and an heir of heaven.  Other men do not profess this….

There are thousands who do not profess to be converted, who, nevertheless, are scrupulous in their dealings and exact in their mercantile transactions, while some base-born professors have fleeced the public, have issued lying prospectuses of bubble companies, and have ended in gigantic bankruptcies:  if we have much of this, religion will be a scoff and a byword throughout the land.  God save us from making a profession if we have not grace to live up to it.

But, secondly, we may well expect more from Christians than others, because it is a fact in the case of those who are truly Christians that they are more than others.  It is not mere talk, it is a fact that the believer in Christ is born again.  He is not only as other men are, made by God, but he has been twice made, new born, new created in Christ Jesus.  It is no fiction but a matter of truthful experience; we have passed from death unto life.  We have received the Spirit of God into our souls, which has implanted in us a new nature higher than the nature of other men, as much higher than the common soul of man as the soul of man is above the nature of the beast; for the children of God are partakers of the divine nature, God dwells in them, and the Spirit of God inhabits them as a king inhabits his palace.  They are more than other men.  They are so not only because of their regeneration, but because of that eternal act of God which set them apart in the covenant of grace or ever the earth was…What must be expected from those so signally distinguished by the sovereign  grace of God?



Order of Morning Service

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Celebrating Baptist Prophets

Approach to God

Musical Prelude


Responsive Sentences

The work of God surrounds us!

We respond with praise.


The wind of the Spirit is moving!

We respond in hope! 


O God, how marvelous are your works;

In wisdom have you made them all.

Your constant love reaches above the heavens.


Your faithfulness touches the skies.

We will sing your praise among the nations.

We will speak of your wonderful works among the people.




Song ………………. Make me a channel of your peace (North America)


Responsive Reading……..Psalm 15

O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbours; 

in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honour those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent. 

Those who do these things shall never be moved.


Act of Thanksgiving for Baptists Prophets of Christian Social Responsibility

Let us praise the Lord our God

Who raises up women and men

Filled with a vision of the justice of God

and well endowed with the requisite gifts

to announce your will to the world.

We remember……………….



Accept our thanks, Lord

for all those who committed their lives

to the service of their communities,

whose loyalty was to the good and the right

and whose energies were expended

in the service of people and nations to your glory.

Grant that we may remain true

to the vision you gave them

and to you, Lord of justice and peace. Amen.


Song………. For the healing of the nations (European)


The Word of God

Bible Reading…………………. Micah 6:6-8 (NRSV)

With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?


Witnesses – Prophets of Christian Social Responsibility

  • Samuel Sharpe
  • William Knibb
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.


Song………… Jesus Christ is waiting (European)


Closing Prayers

God of mercy and compassion,

in Christ you draw near to us,

lifting us out of death,

binding up our wounds,

and nursing us back to health.

Let such tenderness as yours compel us

To go and do likewise.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

God our Father,

you have given us a share

in the life that is yours

with your Son and the Holy Spirit.

Strengthen that life within your Church

That we may know your presence,

Observe your commands,

And proclaim your Gospel to every nation.

We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.



May the blessing of the God of peace and justice

be with us.

May the blessing of the Son who weeps

the tears of the world’s suffering

be with us.

And may the blessing of the Spirit who inspires us

to reconciliation and hope

be with us,

from now into eternity. Amen




Celebrating Baptist Prophets – Readings

Samuel Sharpe from Speech of Rev. Henry Bleby, Missionary from Barbados, on the Result of Emancipation in the British West Indies Colonies, Boston, 1858.  See also Henry Bleby, Death Struggles of Slavery:  Being a Narrative of Facts and Incidents, which occurred in a British Colony, London, 1868.

On 19 April 1832, Samuel Sharpe, Baptist deacon and leader of a slave revolt was placed on trial, convicted and sentenced to death.

White Methodist missionary, Rev. Henry Bleby reminded Sharpe not of how Jesus violently expelled the money changers from the temple, but of the doubtful proposition “that the Scriptures teach men to be content with the station allotted to them by Providence.” Sharpe replied, “If I have done wrong in that, I trust I shall be forgiven.  I cast myself upon the atonement.

Sharpe also explained, “They will put to death some of us, if we sit down and refuse to work after Christmas, and we must be content to die for the benefit of the rest.  I, for one, am ready to die, in order that the rest may be free.”

“I depend for salvation upon the Redeemer, who shed his blood upon Calvary for sinners.  They may put some of us to death, but they cannot hang and shoot us all, and if we are faithful one to one another, we must obtain our freedom.  In reading my Bible, I found that the white man had no more right to make a slave of me than I have to make a slave of the white man.  I would rather go out and die on that gallows than to live as a slave.”


William Knibb: (1) Peter Masters, Missionary triumph over slavery.  Wakeman Trust. London

(2) http://www.victorianweb.org/history/knibb/knibb.html

(3) F.R. Augier and S.C. Gordon, Sources of West Indian History, Trinidad and Jamaica: Longman Group Limited, 12962, p. 157.
Concerning slavery, William Knibb had this to say:
The cursed blast of slavery has, like a pestilence, withered almost every moral bloom.  I know not how any person can feel a union with such a monster, such a child of hell.  I feel a burning hatred against it and look upon it as one of the most odious monsters that ever disgraced the earth.  The iron hand of oppression daily endeavours to keep the slaves in the ignorance to which it has reduced them. (1)
This is what William Knibb had to say in his appeal before the public Annual Meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society held in Spa Fields Chapel on June 21, 1832.
“I call upon children, by the cries of the infant slave who I saw flogged on the Macclesfield Estate, in Westmoreland…I call upon parents, by the blood streaming back of Catherine Williams, who with a heroism England has seldom know, preferred a dungeon to the surrender of her honour.  I call upon Christians by the lacerated back of William Black of King’s Valley, whose back, a month after flogging, was not healed…

“Whatever may be the consequence, I will speak.  At the risk of my connexion with the Society with the society, and of all I hold dear, I will avow this….Lord, open the eyes of Christians in England, to see the evil of slavery and to banish it from the earth.” (2)


In a letter to a friend dated 7 January 1836, Knibb wrote as follows:

I am in a land of half freedom, ere there is much that is pleasing, and much more to annoy.  Every effort has been made in certain quarters to prevent the system from working, but hitherto in vain.  The general conduct of the emancipated Africans is above all praise; nor do I believe that there is a population on the earth among whom less crime is committed.  We only need perfect freedom to make the colony prosperous.  This must come, and the sooner the better.


I bless God for what has been done, but I do not like the apprenticeship system, because it is unjust; yet it is not slavery, and it must issue in freedom.  I do all I can to prevent oppression, nor do I stand by any means alone; but do it I will, if I should stand alone.  I have told the magistrate respectfully, but firmly, that let the consequence be what it may, no one shall oppress my people with impunity. (3)

Martin Luther King Jr., Why We Can’t Wait.  New York:  The New American Library, Inc., 1963, pp. 77f., 86f., 91f.,95.


I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states.  I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea….

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.  The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro.  Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.   Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers from Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency towards the promised land of racial justice.  If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place…

There was a time when the church was very powerful – in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.  In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.  Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”  But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven” called to obey God rather than man.  Small in number, they were big in commitment.  They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.

Things are different now.  So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.  So often it is an arch defender of the status quo.  Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent – and often even vocal – sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.  If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.  Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust….

Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.



Order of Morning Service

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Celebrating Baptist Pioneers

Approach to God

Musical Prelude


Responsive Sentences

We call to mind the deeds of the Lord;

We will remember God’s wonders of old.

We will meditate on God’s work

And muse on God’s mighty deeds.


Great and mighty are your works, Lord God.

Just and true are your ways.

You lead your people like a flock;

With your right hand you protect us.




Song ……. How lovely on the mountains (North America)


Responsive Reading………Psalm 145: 1-7, 10-12, 21

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and all flesh will bless his holy name for ever and ever. 


Act of Thanksgiving for Baptist Pioneers

Let us praise the Lord our God

who chose and called women and men

and fired them with clear vision who paved the way

for renewed understanding of God’s self-revelation

and of our human response to it.

We remember…..



Accept our thanks, gracious Lord,

for those through whom the Spirit moved

to inaugurate the Baptist movement.

We praise you for their courage and devotion,

their vision and foresight,

and their readiness to pay the price for their convictions.

Grant that we, following in their footsteps,

may walk worthy of the Gospel we have received.

We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.


Song……. Cantai ao Senhor (Latin America)


The Word of God

Bible Reading…….Genesis 12:1-6a

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh.


Witnesses  – Baptist Pioneers

  • John Smyth
  • Thomas Helwys


Song…….. Sent by the Lord am I (Latin American)


Closing Prayer

Out of your power and compassion, O God,

you sent your Son into our afflicted world

to proclaim the day of salvation.

Heal the brokenhearted;

Bind up our wounds.

Bring us health of body and spirit

And raise us to new life in your service.

God of all ages,

You call the church to keep watch in the world

and to discern the signs of the times.

Grant us wisdom which your Spirit bestows,

that with courage we may proclaim your prophetic word

and complete the work that you have set before us.

Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.




May God the Father grant us the grace that changes us.

May God the Son grant us the grace that saves us.

May God the Spirit grant us the grace that sets us free.

And may the grace of the Triune God 

be with us from day to day. Amen. 


Musical Postlude

I include the following reading with the following warning.  No Permission to share or print this document unless the whole document is shared.  This is done because of the incendiary remarks made in the first part of John’s Smith’s comments which can only be seen in the light of his later reflections in the article.  I personally often find myself speaking in the Spirit of early John Smyth and not always in his latter more reflective voice.                      Jeremy Bell


Celebrating Baptist Pioneers – Readings

John Smythe
1. The Character of the Beast or the False Constitution of the Church, Epistle to reader, 1609, p. 5.  Text available on the internet at the following website: http://www.Baptisttheology.org/documents/history/THECHARACTEROFTHEBEAST.pdf
2.  The Last Booke of John Smythe

We require leaders, indeed, we charge them, yes we challenge them, to the defence of their errors.  We protest against them to be a false Church, falsely constituted in the baptism of infants and their own unbaptized estate.  We protest against them to have a false worship of reading books.  We protest against them to have a false government of a triformed presbytery.  We protest against them for having a false ministry of Doctors or Teachers.  Finally we protest against them that, seeing their constitution is false, there is no one ordinance of the Lord true among them.

These things we have published and of these things we require an answer, for we proclaim against them as they proclaim against their own mother England, that the Separation, the youngest and the fairest daughter of Rome, is a harlot, “for as is the mother so is the daughter.”

Later in life, John Smythe wrote:

In the days of my blind zeal and preposterous imitation of Christ, I was somewhat lavish in censuring and judging others and namely, in the way of separation called Brownism.  Since having been instructed in the way of the Lord more perfectly, and finding for all those hard phrases with which I have in my writings inveighed against either England or Separation…

Generally all those biting and bitter words, phrases and speeches used against the professors of the land I utterly retract and revoke, as not being of the spirit of Christ.

Now, for the Separation, I cannot justify my writings and dealings with them.  What I wrote was the truth.  But in the manner of my writing I have failed:  for I should have instructed them with the spirit of meekness, but my words have been mingled with gall, and therefore has the Lord repaid me full measure.

From this day forward I put an end to all questions and controversies about the outward church and ceremonies, and I resolve to spend my time in the main matters related to salvation.”


The final Service of Worship, the Celebration of the Quadricentennial of Baptist Witness on July 30th, is found on the BWA website at this link:  http://www.bwanet.org/media/documents/AG%20-%20400th%20Service%20-%20English.pdf