Excited this morning about hearing about missionary (and wife of Adoniram Judson), Ann Judson, seeing people I know (Nathan Finn and Dr. Keith Harper of SEBTS), and I just enjoyed a walk to the battery here in Charleston – beautiful in the peaceful morning hours before the sun gets too hot.
Our first hymn of the day is Am I a Soldier of the Cross by Isaac Watts, one of the hymnists we heard about last night.
Profile – Ann Judson (by Rosalie Hunt) – a great character profile
The Woman of the Century in 19th Century America
To be disposed of as He pleases: her cry to God shortly after she accepted Christ. From
Rom 12.1 - a living sacrifice. One thing she would learn of greatly during her short lived life. This marriage to Adoniram would cost her her family in America but she said “God’s service is my delight”. They were America’s first missionaries – congregational missionaries – but on the ship as they traveled they learned more about baptism (immersion) by reading the NT in the original Greek – and were baptized properly in Calcutta. They finally (through many other countries) got to where their heart was, Burma. It took 6 years for them to see their first convert – what perseverance! The hardship of losing her children, loneliness without her family, imprisonment of her husband, sickness she endured – comes back to “present your bodies a living sacrifice”. Ann Judson (whom I am currently reading about as well, I love biographies) was truly a soldier of the cross. I wonder if she knew this hymn, since it was written before her time. How do you measure your service – holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service?
Profile – Lott Carey – Leroy Fitts
The Father of West African Missions
True greatness has its own way of being resurrected. He was born into slavery in Virginia – his father was a member of a local Baptist church. His grandmother instilled in him African heritage.
He started preaching to fellow slaves in Virginia, but even without much formal education – he developed into one of the finest preachers in his day.
He saw many converts during his ministry in Liberia. He proved himself a worthy leader through the years – perseverance and commitment. He died from injuries sustained in an explosion. He was a political leader, a spiritual leader, and a world leader.
Baptist Hymnody: Southern Ante-Bellum Baptists (some about Stearns and Sandy Creek familiar with Southeastern’s history in North Carolina)
This was much about hymnody and tune books, different hymnals that churches have used through the years and other “stuff” like that.
He had pictures on the handout of Sandy Creek Baptist Church near Asheboro, the grave marker of Shubael Stearns that we replicated one year at Southeastern to give to donors at our Board of Visitors meeting, and the tombstone of Pastor Stearns.
There were different traditions:
The Charleston Tradition (Richard Furman, who was pastor of this church)
The Sandy Creek Tradition
The Georgia Tradition
The Tennessee Tradition
One of the hymns he spotlighted was God Moves in a Mysterious Way written by William Cowper – who Piper highlighted as one of the biographies in his Swans series.
Hymns are the voice of the people of God – this is a great testimony hymn.
We can learn from the many traditions in the hymnody world that have come before us. But, I would also have to say that some of our modern hymns and choruses (not all of course) will be sung 300 years from now, if the Lord tarries. I think of “In Christ Alone” as a great example.
Understanding Our Global Witness – Bill Leonard (reminds me of Dr. Little and Dr. Heimbach with his bowtie). – Dean of WF Divinity School
He said the missionary movement is reversed now – more of the people we have witnessed to in the past are now turning and doing the very act of missions.
Evangelism and Civilization - would conversion result in a change of Indian Culture William Carey, Andrew Fuller – called to evangelize the heathen. How has missions changed? Now we talk of contextualization and reaching the heathen to take the gospel back to their own societies. The natives are going to be the ones reaching their family members with the gospel (going back to the first statement he made).
Role of women in missions – (Ann Judson whom we heard about already this morning)
Lottie Moon, and then even today: Sarah, Tonya, Melissa, Delly. This is how history has shaped the world of missions today. I’m grateful for people like Lottie Moon and Ann Judson and Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot…paving the way for my friends and me to go and share the gospel.
One last way: Technology and globalism. (I think of the missions center at Southeastern directed by Dr. Bruce Ashford – who gets married in a week). There are so many ways we can now reach the world with a push of a button. They are a phone call away, but going is still going – meeting them where they are. God has blessed Southeastern with many ways to reach the nations without leaving Wake Forest, but they still send out missionaries every semester to go into the uttermost parts of the earth with the news about Jesus.
Application for Today:
What would people say about your life if they were doing a “character profile” over 100 years after your death? Whatever you want them to say about you (and the God you serve) has to be lived today.