As God would have it, he just led me to your sight from a search on "Basil Manly Jr." I have just spent about an hour doing a little research on the site and I am impressed. Great historical documents and the Journal is excellent. I will be back, often. Keep up the God-centered, Christ-exalted work.
Laboring for the Truth,
T. C., via email
I just wanted to drop a line to let you know that your diligence is paying off. Your work is having an impact on many of us whom God has revealed the doctrines of grace to. Thank you for challenging us to hang in there against what seem to be impossible odds. Thank you also for the patient and gracious advice you give to our brethren who are frustrated, discouraged, and ready to leave their churches.
To your advice I would only add that you might mention that love demands that they not give up on their Arminian brethren. None of us understand the doctrines of grace without God, in His good pleasure, revealing them to us. If He has been patient and loving with us in this matter then we must do the same. Like many, I've been subtly ostracized by the pastors in my church because I am a Calvinist. I know from personal experience how painful and frustrating that can be (and is!). Yet, I know they love God and the unsaved with a passion I wish I had. The love of God demands that I not give up on them even though they may have given up on me.
Tell our brethren to hold on to that attribute of God that sometimes gets lost when discussing election. God loves us in spite of our rebellion. We must pray to do the same when we're on the brink of giving up on our friends.
Again, keep up the good work. My older brother and I benefit greatly from it. I won't bore you with the details of how God has used you and Founder's ministry in our lives and what's happening at our church.
L. P. via email
Dear Dr. Ascol:
I appreciated your article in the Summer 2001 issue of the Founders Journal entitled, "Calvinism, Evangelism and Founders Ministries." I thought that the article was thorough, informative, edifying and well-done. I also respect your effort to avoid "naming names" and focus on the issues. Yet, I must admit that I am curious about a couple of things. Did you happen to send the "one conservative SBC leader" a copy of your article? Did you happen to send copies to the Seminary students who heard his comments? Don't you think that the reformation we prayerfully seek is more likely to come when this kind of information is placed before those in need of reformation? Reformation study and talk, like our "evangelistic efforts," may accomplish more for the glory of God if we move beyond preaching to the choir.
God bless you,
M. R., via email
Response from Tom Ascol, editor:
Thanks for your note and encouraging comments. Thanks also for your observations and suggestions. Yes, before publishing it I did send the article to the leader who is referenced. In fact, I sent him the original version which named him and contained a challenge about doctrinal integrity in it based on further comments he made which I did not include in the published article. I asked him if I had misrepresented him; if I had been unfair; and if he would like to respond--because I would print his unedited response next to my article. He delayed responding for some time and finally wrote that he had no time to respond then but would do so thoroughly in the future.
It was a difficult decision to eliminate his name from the article. I followed the counsel of the Founders Board of Trustees in doing so. We debated the issue for nearly 2 hours, trying to determine what route would be most useful and glorifying to God. Several matters were considered, such as not wanting to embarrass a man we all respect in many ways. Our motives, I believe, were proper. My decision to leave his name out is debatable. It was a judgment call. …
Thanks, again, for taking the time to write and stating your views. I, and our whole board, stand with you in desiring real reformation to break out in churches across our land.
…I discovered your website sometime ago and always find interesting reading …
I found the most recent issue [#45], with the articles about Calvinism, fascinating. I have wondered for some time if all (well, at least most) of the "fuss" over Calvinism isn't that the doctrine is misunderstood or distorted. Thanks for your point of view. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your ministry. I have been reading your web site. I appreciate your work in promoting the essential doctrines of God's Word. I heard a man say, "there can be no revival without reformation." As I pray for reform among God's people and awakening for our nation, I am thankful for those who still shine the Light of the True Gospel.
Grace & peace,
Dr. Thomas Ascol,
Greetings, my brother in Christ Jesus. I want to thank you for the solid theological journal and sound ministry that comes by way of the Founders. I hold up your ministry before the Throne of Providence on a regular basis. I am really young in the Lord and I do confess that some of the issues that are dealt with in the Journal are a bit over my head. But, for the most part, I leave an issue edified and encouraged. The amazing truth of God's absolute sovereignty has been a consoling truth for me in great times of need. I am truly thankful for all ministries who uphold this truth in Christ.
I am currently incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, but our Lord in His holy and wise providence has been pleased to grant me an undeserved parole. In fact, I should be released this month and I do hereby ask you to change my subscription address …
Thank you! May the Lord our God continue to use Founders Ministries to thunder His truth and may He be pleased to give the increase.
R. G., TX
I came across your web-site by accident, and read "Southern Baptists at the Crossroads" [FJ #19/20]. I have to agree with the whole article, and comments. A short time ago I came out of the "Mormon" church, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). I was a convert to it for 22 years, being raised a Roman Catholic. Over the years as a Mormon, and active in the priesthood, I was for ten years a Seventy, and tracted door to door, with the full time Missionaries. I helped to give the missionary discussions and baptize new converts. How I left Mormonism, and found the real Jesus Christ, and not the polygamist christ of Mormonism, is another story. But working as a Stake missionary all those years, I could not help but notice that most of our baptized converts, were coming out of Southern Baptist churches. If fact one of our Mormon general authorities mentioned, how well the Baptist churches prepared their active members, to eventually become Mormon converts. You probably know that the far majority of converts to Mormonism, are active Christians, in their own churches, not the un-churched. Also, the Mormon secret temple ritual was copied from Scottish Rite Masonry. All the founders of the Mormon Church, including Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others too were all Masons. With so many Baptist men and their families being involved in Masonry, that may have some separate bearing for study too. I could go on with a more lengthy story, but I will cut it short, only to say that the situation you describe in Baptist churches, gives a very good reason why you are losing your members. And sadly the local churches don't even realize or care, when they see their members leave, and join the Mormon Church, or other cults. There is no effort to even rescue your own people. I know this from first hand knowledge, having been a Mormon missionary. Chuches love to report their yearly baptism convert numbers, but never have to report how many they have lost to Mormonism. Look at the explosive growth every year of Mormonism, even in the "Bible belt" states, compared to other denominations in the USA. Paul said in the last days there would be "seducing spirits and doctrines of Demons." He was so right, and especially the toll that is taken of the "elect" and to deceive them. Scripture says also, "My people perish, for a lack of knowledge." The Lord is speaking clearly of "His" people here, and the Christians of today especially.
D.K. via email
Dear Brother at Founders,
Greetings in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I received the Founders CDs. Thank you very much for sending this valuable resource for my study. I received the CDs before Christmas as Christmas gift. After receiving the CDs my heart filled with great joy.
Kindly keep on praying for my wife, Anuradha, suffering from breast cancer. Once again, thank you very much for the gift.
J.D., India (via email)
I would like to buy two subscriptions of the Founders Journal. I want to thank you for your web site and for standing for truth. Your website has helped my family a lot. The articles are helpful and we found the church we are now attending on the web site. So, thanks again.