Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Here is part two finally! An illness hindered me. I suggest if you have not read part one, then read it first. You will find part one just a couple articles below this one by scrolling down until you see it. Happy reading! This is  one of the greatest subjects in the Bible; the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please leave your comments here; pro or con..

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

As I have already pointed out, the above verses are perhaps the most concise definition of the gospel found in the Bible. Christ dying for our sins; being buried; then rising again the third day. All of this is according to the scriptures.  It is said that 333 Bible prophecies were fulfilled in that one day. These verses do not tell us everything about the gospel, but it gives us this central truth: Christ is the gospel. There is no real gospel without Him. He is the saviour; the redeemer; the Messiah. He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is God manifested in human flesh. So, I think we at least partially answered the question; What is the Gospel?  The next question is:

WHY IS THE GOSPEL (continued) I have already presented several points regarding this: 1. To call out God’s elect and save them. 2. To confirm sinners in their damnation. 3. To build Christ’s church. 4. Above all, to exalt Christ, and bring glory to the Father.  (See Philippians 2:9-11). Actually, we shouldn’t ask why God does anything, because He is the supreme sovereign of the universe, who does as He pleases, always as He pleases, when He pleases, and doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But we mortals do ask, don’t we? I believe God gave us an inquisitive nature, but like everything else about us, it was affected by the fall.  Besides those three reasons for the gospel, I have thought of one more important thing which we find in the book of Romans. So this is reason #5; To restore God’s creation, including man.This could not have been done without the saviour paying the price. Just imagine what this will be like; the creation restored to its glorious pre-fall state; i.e.., paradise. Romans 8:21 tells us “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” There are probably many more reasons we could find regarding why. There is so much more we could say about why but, I have another point to make.

WHERE IS THE GOSPEL? Some might say that with this question I am simply being arrogant, but I must say for the sake of truth, concerning this present day, likely you find the true gospel in a lot less places than at any time since the Protestant Reformation! I certainly believe this is true. The true gospel; the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; that gospel that I have tried to define in part one of this article is NOT being preached in the majority of churches in this nation, and likely not in other nations. Most churches have a pseudo-gospel that is in the best cases a half gospel. If you have any discernment at all, check the majority of religious TV, and you see a glaring, and even disgusting, deficiency, which presents somewhat of a picture of where we are. Unfortunately, most professing Christians are playing church today. In order to compete with all the entertainment, and activities of the world, so many have compromised the gospel. It is a shame!  I am not afraid to say so! If Charles Haddon Spurgeon could come back today, and he decided to attend the average evangelical, or fundamentalist church, I think he would be appalled. He would probably want to throw up! He is regarded by many as the greatest evangelical pastor ever. He is called the Prince of Preachers.  He was a good one, because he preached the Bible clearly!  Likely Mr. Spurgeon, George Whitefield, or Jonathan Edwards, and some other godly men of old, would recognize a false gospel taught today in the average church.

There are actually a number of false gospels. I am not talking about in the cults, which are totally alien from true Christianity, but even in the churches that claim to be orthodox; evangelical; fundamentalist; historic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist or whatever other descriptive label you can think of. Please don’t get me wrong! There are still a number of good, sound churches, which have ministers that proclaim the true gospel, but I am afraid they are the minority. You see, most of today’s churches do not present mankind as totally depraved and helpless. To classify men and women as sinners is just not popular. But they are sinners in need of a saviour. One example of today’s false gospel is the “seeker sensitive” idea that says the gospel message must be adjusted to fit the situation. Their theory is that in order to compete with this mad, entertainment oriented, and sports oriented culture, that some of these elements must be worked into the message and worship. Some churches are more deeply involved in this attitude than others, but the point is that they have compromised the truth to gain a larger audience. This element of competition with the world was already there when I was first converted. It has always been here. It is just far more extreme now. Back in that day churches had to compete with the popular movies of the day which, of course, are shown on Sunday, as well as other days.

Then there was television. Leading the way on Sunday nights was the CBS program Toast of the Town led by popular, and very bland, emcee Ed Sullivan.  His show was “a really big shew”, as he often said. It was a “show biz” variety show with circus acts, singers, skits, well known guests which ran on CBS for almost 24 years. Perhaps the biggest boost to Sullivan’s show was when he featured a very young Elvis Presley in his biggest TV appearance up to that time. He had already “broken loose” on the Dorsey Brothers Show, Milton Berle Show, and Steve Allen Show, and signed for three appearances on Sullivan’s show. The first show attracted a record 60 million viewers when it aired on Sunday night September 9, 1956. The Elvis appearance set the pattern for Sullivan to air the popular rock and roll artists of the day. Then in February 1964, The Beatles made their first of three consecutive weeks of appearance on the show. That show drew an audience of 73 million, setting another new record. Because the show was on Sunday nights at 8 P.M. (EST), it actually began to affect church attendances, and this was even lamented by many preachers of the day. Church attendance had already fallen off from the early 50’s, but now a very successful weapon against the churches had been launched. I am not saying that everything on Sullivan was evil. Actually by today’s standards, it was pretty mild. In the 50’s I used to watch it with my dad. Needless to say, he didn’t attend church in those days, nor did I. But now many former Sunday night church attenders quit going. It is not that television caused all of this, but it definitely was a factor. In our day, television, movie theatres, sports events, amusement parks, and many other things compete with the churches. Sadly, as I have already pointed out, wayward churches are competing with the true churches; hence false gospels are competing with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. As one good preacher of our age has said The greatest crime of this generation of Christians is its neglect of the Gospel. From this neglect, all our other maladies spring forth.” (5)  

Today there are many compromises of the gospel, such as the Emergent Church, Seeker Sensitive Churches; preachers trying change the gospel message, such as the pastor, Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His views expressed in his recent book indicate that everyone will eventually be saved. The book is titled Love Wins. Then there is Rick Warren and his efforts to organize and bring together all world religions, while becoming the world’s most famous preacher, called by some “The new Billy Graham”.  I could say more about others such as Mark Driscoll of another Mars Hill church in Seattle.  Mr. Driscoll claims to be reformed, yet received quite a rebuke from fellow reformed pastors for using graphic, vulgar, descriptive words in a teaching series he was conducting on marriage and sexual relations.

Rather than pour out more disgusting accounts of preacher’s failures, I want to get back to the main focus. All most people will say anyway is “Who is this guy Charles Woodruff to criticize me? He is just a little fish in a big pond.” I do want to point out that even many of the churches that claim to be doing so well are often “faking it”. It is nothing new in churches to jack up the numbers to appear more successful than they really are. In my early days among fundamentalists, it was said of a number of pastors when boasting about their attendance that they were “speaking evangelistically”. In other words some were lying! Listen to this report from a much bigger fish; a rather well known preacher among the Southern Baptists: “Out of the Southern Baptist's 16,287,494 members, only 6,024,289, or 37%, on average, show up for their church's primary worship meeting (usually Sunday morning). This is according to the Strategic Information and Planning department of the Sunday School Board (2004 statistics). If your church is anything like normal, and is not brand new, your statistics are probably similar. In other words, if you have 200 in attendance on Sunday morning, you likely have 500-600 or even more on your roll. Many churches have an even worse record.”(6) Mr. Elliff has advocated that these churches purge their rolls of non-attending members, as some are doing.

Let’s see if we can find an answer to my question; Where is the Gospel?  It must be somewhere. It isn’t being preached in the average church. The average TV and radio preacher isn’t preaching it. It isn’t in the newspapers and magazines of our day. Pick up the average Christian book found in the stores. You will not find much gospel there. There are exceptions, but fewer stores; even expressly Christian stores are stocking good, sound, Bible exposition books. Do you know what their major sellers are? Novels! Trinkets! Jewelry! DVDs! CDs! I used to work in a Christian book store many years ago. I know what we sold. Then most of our stock was Bibles and gospel centered literature. Commentaries, Christian  biographies, doctrinal books, books designed to help in the Christian walk; stuff with some meat in them. I asked a bookstore owner why you can’t get that in most walk in stores today. He told me simply “It just doesn’t sell.” So you have to order them online, or by catalog, for the most part, if you need good gospel books.

“It doesn’t sell!”  That rings a bell with me. Some ministers no longer preach the true gospel because it is a poor item to market. It doesn’t sell! Of course the gospel is not to be bought and sold! Yet some churches and preachers treat it so. We have talked about TV and radio ministries. So many are using their programs largely to hawk merchandise. I am not talking about a minister announcing a book he has written that is now available, or some low key mention, calling attention to items that may actually help people. I am talking about elaborate marketing schemes all for the purpose of gaining filthy lucre! I am speaking of the shame of making the church primarily a business! The churches themselves have largely become market places. Such things ought not to be, brethren! Remember, Jesus Himself took up a whip and ran out the money changers from the temple!  And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:13-16)

This is certainly one of the main reasons for the current famine for the bread of God today as Amos’ prophecy stated  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11,12).

How do we get it back? Suppose you are a new Christian and need a place that preaches the pure word of God?  How do you find it? Suppose you are lost and are sensing a desire to be saved? Could you walk into a Primitive Methodist chapel as Charles Spurgeon did on January 6, 1850? God spoke to him through an earnest, yet simple preacher who just desired to see folks saved. Is such a one around today? Has anyone ever told you that you are a sinner in need of Jesus Christ?

One of the greatest things about the glorious gospel is that it is from God, and it isn’t going away. His purpose will prevail! Thankfully there are still some “havens of rest”. They are not all gone. You must be willing to search for them. You must seek God earnestly about what port you should dock your ship in.  Some places you go will make you worse off than you are. Just recommending a denomination is not good enough. I attend a good Baptist church, but I could not in good conscience recommend certain Baptist churches. Ours is an exceptional blessing where we have true Bible preaching. They are not all that way! The Baptists are today a “mixed bag”. The same goes for all other denominations or independent churches as well. Care must be taken. I am not saying you have to wait for a perfect church, just a scriptural one that is on the right track. There, you may be able to even help them as much as they help you. 
If you need a good church to attend, I may be able to help you. I have a number of contacts in various places, and I may be able to steer you in a good direction.  If you are in a church that is not wholly dedicated to preaching “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”, and there is no sign of change-get out! If they won’t get right, you need to get out. It is absolutely essential today to be in a Bible preaching assembly.  The old slogan “go to the church of your choice” doesn’t apply today, if it ever did. If you are saved, you need to pray about it, and go to the church of His choice. A church doesn’t need a whole bunch of other stuff, but it needs Christ!                                                                                                                        
(5) From an internet sermon by Paul Washer, Heart Cry Missionary Society, Christiansburg, VA. 
 6) Read the entire article by Jim Elliff at Founders http://www.founders.org/library/elliff1.html

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Friends, tomorrow is Fathers Day, so I thought I would re-issue this article. it is a little long, but I hope interesting. You may especially enjoy the links (let me know). Perhaps it's educational.  God bless you all.

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

                                   The Command and the Promise
Are any of us going to doubt Paul’s apostolic authority? If so, you may as well quit reading right here and go watch TV or something else. If we are willing to be taught by the Word of God, we have to admit that this man, who had been called Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of the church, yes, even a persecutor of the living Christ (see Acts 9:3-7), was a transformed man. We have to admit that after the miracle of his conversion on the Damascus road, this chosen vessel of the Lord became an apostle with as much authority as Peter, James and John or the rest of the apostles.

When Judas was revealed as the son of perdition, the original remaining 11 disciples voted on who would take Judas’ place. They chose two men: Joseph Justus (called Barsabas), and Matthias. They prayed about it. Then to “elect” an apostle, they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias (see Acts 1:20-26). But God had His own election from the foundation of the world, and chose Saul, who was later to be the Apostle Paul (see Acts 9:15). Matthias and Joseph Justus may have been wonderful Christians, but you never hear of either again.

In Ephesians chapters five and six, Paul is laying out the relation of marriage to the church; of children to parents; of parents to children, etc. He is speaking with apostolic authority, and he who has told us in Galatians 3:11: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith”, not only repeats one of the ten commandments, but emphasizes that there is a blessing for New Testament Christians who obey it. Why does he do this? Because even though: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us--” (Galatians 3:13), we still as Christians, led by the Holy Spirit, have commandments and teachings we are to follow with the help of the Spirit. Otherwise there would be no need of the any of the epistles of Paul, John, Jude, Peter, James etc… Remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

So, though we are not under the law as a covenant, we have law woven all through the New Testament. Every one of the Ten Commandments (the moral law of God), is repeated in the New Testament in some way. We are not under the law’s curse, if we are Christ’s, but we are not without commands, and instructions in righteousness. We are under the law to Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:21). For the believer “His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).The law on the tables of stone condemns lost people. It has been broken by them. They are lawless. They are condemned by the law. That is why they hate His commandments.

We who are Christ’s have the law written on our hearts. His law is our delight, much like the psalmist in Psalm 1:2. Mt. Sinai no longer holds terror for us. Our substitute (Christ) paid the price for our having broken God’s law. So, Old Covenant or New Covenant, we cannot get away from the Commandment to honor our fathers and mothers. As sinners we rebelled against this, but after we become Christians we submit with joy. Jesus said: “this is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

                                           Honor to Grandfathers

When I wrote about my grandmothers and my mother on Mother’s Day, I had a text that spoke of Timothy’s grandmother, Lois. (See 2 Timothy 1:5). The Bible does not have the word “grandfather” anywhere in its pages. But “fathers” can, in context, mean grandfathers, or other earlier ancestors. In the article, Mothers and Grandmothers (Word of Truth Vol. 6, Issue 11), I told you a little about my paternal grandmother, and my maternal grandmother. I knew them both pretty well when I was a young man. With this article, I have no such advantage with my paternal grandfather. My father didn’t even know him. He died when my dad was only two years old on October 27, 1910. You may remember in Issue #11, I told you grandmother was married May 8, 1906. My grandfather Charles B. Woodruff was only with her for four years, and then he died. I was named for him, but I know so little about him. What I do know is from the family Bible, and my own limited genealogy study.

Charles B. Woodruff was born on July 14, 1886 in Atlanta. He was a railroad switchman, following after his father, John Matthew Woodruff, and his grandfather, Joseph Pinckney Woodruff, born December 19, 1834, and died July 8, 1901. Joseph was an Atlanta pioneer, and a conductor. The railroads built Atlanta, and after the Civil War the railroads really prospered. John was born June 14, 1863, and died in a horrible train wreck in Atlanta on July 26, 1905 at age 42. The Atlanta Constitution article I retrieved from July 27, 1905 told of two other men who were killed, and two more that were wounded in the tragic wreck at Oakland Ave in Oakland City (an Atlanta suburb at the time). John’s wife (my great-grandmother Camy), was the sister of Atlanta pioneer George Washington (Wash) Collier’s wife. As I said, Charles died in 1910, five years later. Ironically, he also died in a train accident. The Atlanta Constitution for October 28, 1910 said my grandfather was 26 when he died, but his birth and death dates which I got from the family Bible and his tombstone prove him to be only 24 years old!

My grandmother, Lillian, was a good Christian woman. They attended the Baptist Tabernacle in Atlanta. She told me in her own words that she felt the reason Charley (her name for him), was dead was because he took the pledge before God to never drink alcohol again, and he broke that pledge. I do not know if she is correct. I know if God killed all of us who promised, or vowed something to Him, we might all be dead! I just know that it is a serious thing to make a vow to God. We take it too lightly! It is only by His grace that more of us are not already dead! It is a chilling thing to look at that actual signature, signed by Charley Woodruff in the family Bible, at the same time realizing that it is the only direct connection I have with my grandfather. I saw a photo of him once, but I don’t know what happened to it. Was he a saved man, one of God’s elect? God is the righteous judge; only He knows.
                                    Honor to a Good Step-Grandfather

Actually, William C. Seivers of Somerset, KY was the only paternal grandfather I knew. A career army man, he and my grandmother married just before World War One. He was a non-commissioned officer; a Master Sergeant. He retired in 1934 after serving 28 years. I have a memento, an engraved watch he received when he retired in Brooklyn, NY. I treasure it, as I do his memory. He took up time with me when we were able to visit Somerset, KY, his home town, where he retired. Several times he would give me good advice about living clean, and obeying my parents. I do remember, he, being an army man, liked to shoot a little pool.  We used to take walks to town together, about a mile from his home, and one day when I was about 11 years old, he and I dropped into the local pool hall and had a coke. I don’t think they even sold beer in that town around 1953. Anyway, he showed me how to shoot “eight-ball” and “rotation”. My grandmother, who could get riled sometimes, gave him a real scolding for “teaching Charles bad things.” A pool hall of all things. http://www.cityofsomersetkentucky.org/   (ctrl +click to view) (the pool hall is somewhere in the town circle). The drive-in theater (which I believe still exists), is about a quarter mile from my grandparents house at the time.

Grandfather Seivers had some serious health problems in his later years, and he died March 23, 1959. We had spoken about the Bible a few times. I remember he seemed to be a Christian man. The Somerset paper announcing his passing said: “Sgt. Seivers was a devoted Christian, and had been a devout member of the First Baptist Church since his return to Somerset. He was faithful in attendance as long as his health permitted.”     
                                                  Honor to Big Daddy          

As I told you previously, Big Daddy (my maternal grandfather), was a large man, especially his hands. They were big. The only person I have seen with hands as big was my late son, Chuck. Big Daddy was born Robert Henry Lee Smith on May 22, 1897 in old Milton County, GA. Some recollections say Cherokee County. They are adjacent counties, part of what was the Cherokee Nation until 1838 when the U.S. government removed most of them to Oklahoma in the infamous Trail of Tears. Big Mama was born in Cherokee County. Her father (my great-grandfather, Joseph Biddy), was a Cherokee. His wife was California Worley; so-called because she was born the day California became a state.

A number of Cherokees were able to get away from the forced march in 1838, and began to try to blend into the growing white society, and one such was Joseph Biddy. One reason for the mistreatment of such a civilized and peaceful tribe as the Cherokees was Andrew Jackson’s despising of all Indians. He treated the Creeks and Cowetas who once lived here in Coweta County the same way, if not worse. http://ngeorgia.com/history/nghisttt.html So my ancestry is English, Scotch-Irish, and Cherokee. Then Big Daddy always alluded to Black Dutch which can mean anything! Study it for yourself  http://www.blackdutch1.webs.com/
The Smiths were English, but I gather from what Big Daddy said there was some Germanic ancestry also.  That is usually the true meaning of Black Dutch. Well, we are what we are. Big Daddy was a great influence on me in many ways. He loved his grandchildren, and there were 14 of us. They used to live in the Grant Park area of Atlanta when they came down from Cartersville. I mostly remember them living off Howell Mill Road in NW Atlanta on several acres that was still rather rural, with a creek running nearby, a big pasture for their horses, and one medium size house, and two smaller houses on the property. We used to walk and talk while Big Daddy fed the horses. He also had several old cars that didn’t run that he was going to fix “one day”. He called them “hacks”.

Remember, Big Mama was my miracle Grandmother. Big Daddy was my miracle Grandfather. He worked for Georgia Power Company. Sometime during World War Two, he was on a power pole connecting a line when he accidentally touched a live wire. A few thousand volts of electricity hit him, and he fell off the pole to the ground. He wasn’t breathing, and his heart was stopped according to those who found him. They tried to do what they could. I am told this went on for 15 minutes, and then he started breathing again! They took him to the hospital. He recovered, but his insides were burned pretty badly. After that there were a number of things he was not supposed to ingest. One thing especially was alcohol. Before that I understand he had been a heavy drinker, and a rather mean person. But, he did not drink alcohol any more!

I never saw him mean. He was always gentle and a lot of fun. He could be forceful if you didn’t obey, but not mean. In the 50’s and 60’s, he loved to watch old western movies on an old black and white TV. He called them “Shoot’em Ups” I remember seeing Lash LaRue, Bob Steele, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Sunset Carson, Harry Carey, Don Barry, etc., etc.. He loved those old movies and western series like Have Gun Will Travel, and Gunsmoke. I guess that’s where I got some of my love for the western. The ones of that day were pretty clean and decent with moral standards that allowed you to know who the “good guy” was  http://ponderosascenery.homestead.com/                           --   http://www.hgwt.com/    --
My grandparents always had a big portrait of FDR (you know who that is, don’t you?). The portrait was right over Big Daddy’s bed. They had lived through the great depression, and as far as Big Daddy was concerned, Franklin Roosevelt saved the country. He wouldn’t hear it any other way. Like most southerners at the time, they were die hard Democrats. In 1964 when I was first old enough to vote, I voted for Barry Goldwater, a Republican. I thought Big Daddy was going to disown me! He was mad at me for quite a while for voting for one of them  ##**** Republicans! After all, Herbert Hoover was “The Devil!” Nixon was “Old Nick!”

Well, times were changing on Big Daddy and Big Mama in ways they could never imagine. There was a huge city growing all around them, engulfing them. The old Atlanta was really “Gone with the Wind”. Now, it practically runs continuously from Macon to Chattanooga!  In the Early 70’s, as a bow to progress, mostly with his own labor, Big Daddy finally had an indoor bathroom. A “shack out back” had served for years!

This reminds me of later when I was doing courier deliveries. I stopped at Lost Mountain Store near Dallas, GA. There were some old guys there around a cracker barrel talking. I had stopped for directions to my residential delivery. I heard one of the old guys say, “I can’t stand cities. I need wide open spaces. Atlanta is getting too big. I am glad to be here in the country. The city will never get out this far.” Well, as it turned out my delivery was less than one mile away in a large subdivision. I was thinking to myself how it was already changing since the last time I was in the area. I really wondered how long the old guy had. That was about 1995. I don’t know if the old guy lived to see it, but that area is shopping centers, traffic congestion, subdivisions, all the evidence of city growth, and listen to this: the old Lost Mountain Store is still there! But, now it is a facade, as the entrance to a huge new bank that bought the property. It looks like you are entering an old country store, but you’re not. That is similar to the way things changed for my grandpa  http://annbcockerill-ivil.tripod.com/id5.html    (You can see the Lost Mountain Store as it was. When you get to the site, just scroll down. Other interesting paintings also).

Big Daddy and I talked about the gospel a number of times after I was saved. He said he was saved, and a Methodist. He used to kid me a little about baptism, and how we Baptists liked to dunk people. Big Mama would take my side. His eyes were bad then, and he couldn’t read much. So, I read to Big Mama loud enough for him to hear, and he would often join in Bible discussions with us. When time to go home he would always say “Y’all stay awhile”. “Come back to see us.” “What’s your hurry?”

I hope I will see him again. He died on March 8, 1978. I had the honor, along with my pastor at the time, Bob McCurry, of speaking at his funeral. I think it was the first one I ever helped conduct. I’ll always remember Big Daddy.

                           Honor to My Father on Father’s Day
My father, Theron Miles Woodruff, was born August 9, 1908 in Atlanta, GA. That’s a real English name, isn’t it?  As stated he was two years old when his father, Charles B. Woodruff died. So he was raised partly by his stepfather and his mother. Then, because Mr. Seivers was an Army man, when World War One came he was overseas part of the time. Grandmother lived in Europe some of the time, and generally it was difficult to raise two young children in those conditions, so his mother’s parents, Oscar and Sarah Taylor took care of the children plus four of their own. So, in 1923 at age 15 Dad wanted to leave home, and managed to get in the Navy by lying about his age. He spent eight years in the Navy, so he was 23 years old when he was discharged. He got to see Greece, Australia, New Zealand, and much of the world. For a while he was assigned to the President’s yacht in Washington. He learned many things in the Navy; one of the greatest was how to cook. Dad was a great cook; better than Mom. She would tell you that herself if she were here! After the Navy, he went to New York and worked for a time. He told me he met a girl there that he was going to marry, but she broke his heart. Working in the haberdasheries of New York City, he said finally he decided to come back south where the weather matched his clothes better!

He met mother sometime in late 1938. He was 30 years old, she was 16 years old! When he came to Big Daddy, and asked to begin dating my mother, Big Daddy was sitting on the porch of their home in Atlanta. He said” just a minute”, and went inside. He came back out with a gun in his hand! He pointed it at Dad, said some bad words, and Dad ran. Then Big Daddy laughed. It was a toy gun! Later, he agreed to let dad date Mom. They got married in July, 1939.  I was born a little over three years later. Dad was 34 years old, and Mom was 20 years old.

The age difference really showed up between Dad and me when I became a teenager. We didn’t do things together much anymore. When I was young he used to take me to Ponce de Leon Park to watch the Atlanta Crackers play baseball. http://www.newgeorgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1965  .Yes, this was before the Braves came to Atlanta. They were the AA farm team for the Milwaukee Braves. They also had more championships than any other minor league team. I think they still hold that title. There is a shopping plaza on Ponce de Leon Ave. in Atlanta where the park once was across from the Sears that once was. The Sears is now Atlanta City Hall East. The railroad that was one of the ball park boundaries is still there. When I pass by there on occasion, I can still see in my mind some of the fly balls hit out for home runs. The legend is the longest homer in history was hit there by outfielder Bob Montag. It landed in a railway car and rode all the way to Nashville and back!  http://www.newgeorgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2800  

In 1966 the Braves came to Atlanta, Dad followed them regularly. He always rooted for them and during his life they only won one division title; in 1982, the first year they had division play in the major leagues. He never got to see them go to the World Series. I wish he had.

Dad liked to drink his beer, and sometimes really overdid it. He used to cook huge pots of Brunswick Stew or Chili for state officials, and even Governors. He worked for the FAA and sometimes they would have parties. He drank, but he provided for his family. He had a great work ethic. He was good with a budget, paid his bills first, and then would spend. Mom was just the opposite. Spend first, ask questions later! Sometimes I have felt a little schizophrenic; I seem to take after him a little and her a little! When I was young, even as a teen, he would take me with him to his favorite Barbecue joint, and we would stay for hours. I would play the jukebox, and drink a Coca-Cola for every Budweiser he drank! I guess that’s where I learned to love Coke.

After I was converted, I would come over and share the gospel with him. He claimed he knew Christ, but had gotten away from Him. I know he told me (as Grandmother Seivers was), he was a member of Atlanta’s Baptist Tabernacle. He was an usher, maybe even a deacon. Something happened there. When I would try to discuss it, he would clam up. That’s how he was about a lot of things, until I became a Christian. He began to open up just a little then. I did not think my talks and witnessing were getting anywhere, so for a time I quit talking about Christ with him. After 3-4 months he asked me one day, “Why don’t you come over and talk about the Bible anymore?” I was overjoyed to hear this. God must be convicting him. As I traveled in my ministry, I remembered where I did my first traveling to places like Savannah, Miami, Panama City, Pensacola, and Louisville, Kentucky. It was with him. I thought of him, and prayed for him as I traveled all over the nation, and the world.

So many things change in life. When I was a rebellious boy of 16-17 years old, one evening Dad asked me to say the blessing. He always had a blessing before meals, and always the same one. I had been influenced recently by a friend who said he was an agnostic (an “honest doubter”). So I thought in my cocky way that being an agnostic must be cool. So when he asked me to pray I said, “Why should I pray? There is no God!” I thought my Dad was going to floor me. He said “don’t you ever say that in this house again!” I argued with him, said he didn’t believe either because he didn’t live like it. Then I stomped out and stayed gone most of the night.

That night changed a few things. I must say, although I was wrong to ever disrespect my father that way, kids watch what their parents do. I saw hypocrisy in him. He was saying it, but not living it. Yet God brought to light a marvelous journey for both of us that night. A journey He had planned for us before the foundation of the world. As I was out walking on the streets of Atlanta that night, something took place. A beginning, really, of something wonderful. I was upset, so I had to ask myself some questions that I couldn’t answer. I wanted to know “was there really a God?” I asked Him, ignorantly, something like this. “God, if you really exist, give me some guidance. You know I used to go to Sunday School and church regularly. Friends have laughed at me for reading the Bible, and now I’ve left all that behind. Now, I have insulted my own father. I want to know, God, do You really exist?”  My answer came that night, as I looked up at the most beautiful starlit sky you could ever see in a city. It came to me, “Who made all those stars? Did they just evolve -- pop into being?” Suddenly I knew that could not be true, and I sensed a presence I had not felt in years, maybe never as strong. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

That night actually was four or five years before I was saved, but I never doubted there was a God again. I apologized to Dad the next day. He seemed surprised but accepted my apology. The next few years brought Dad’s retirement. He had his second “mild” heart attack, and some other physical problems. I got married in 1962 and started a family. Dad still didn’t want to be too close. That was really his way, however. He was not inclined to come visit any relative, or draw close. As I grew in the Lord after I was saved, I began to try to grow close to him. As I said I would witness. He seemed to dislike it, then after the question he asked about why I did not talk the Bible with him, I knew he was getting interested. I gave him a Bible. The last five years of his life, we got closer. He told me he had repented, but I wasn’t real sure. Then in the final year, when he was dying of liver cancer, he told my wife, Sandra, that he was ready to go. He knew that Jesus Christ was his savior. I rejoiced in that! The last days of his life, we were closer than we had ever been. He left this world on August 26, 1984. I thank God I have confidence I will see him again. I love you, Dad! This is for you!
In memory of William Seivers, R.H.L. Smith, and Theron Woodruff. You each taught me many good things. I trust I will see you all again!

By Charles Woodruff -June 18, 2006; revised June19, 2009, and slight revision June 11, 2011.


Sunday, June 12, 2011



The final authority in all matters in our mission efforts must be the Lord Himself. He has left us the Bible as our guide, and in that Word of God is found our basis of operation. The Great Commission says "Go ye into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature"   (Mark 16:15). No Muslim, no Hindu, no Communist, no Socialist, no Humanist, and no other breed of human being can annul that command! It came from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is in my Bible. I receive it as valid. Many say that Mark 16:9-20 is not valid, as some Bible scholars insist, because it is not found in some of the older manuscripts, especially Codex Vaticanus, (discovered in the Vatican library in 1481 AD); and Codex Sinaiticus (discovered in a trash pile of the Convent of St Catherine on Mt Sinai by German theologian Count von Tischendorf in 1844 AD) . There are still many unanswered questions regarding these older manuscripts, such as "where were they all those years that the church already had a majority text?" We won’t go into all that at this time. I’ll just state confidently that these words of Mark 16 are verified in other scripture such as Matthew 28:19, 20. The great commission is valid, and of course, is found in more than one place in the Bible. So, we have an obligation to go, or send others if we cannot go.

We are told in the Word of God that we are to respect and obey human government. (Romans 13:1) That we are to pray for those in authority, be they kings, presidents, governors, etc. (I Timothy 2:1,2) This requires us to obey the law of the land. But how far does respect and obedience to human authority go? Is this an unlimited command? Our Lord, when posed with a question regarding the tribute money (a form of taxation), said that we were to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). Worship is one of those things which are God's. No man, nor government has the right to deny freedom of worship. Nor does any government have the right to demand obedience which supersedes obedience to God. Our own United States government would do well to remember this!

Few realize today that the American patriot, Patrick Henry, who cried out during our struggle for independence, "Give me liberty or give me death", once defended successfully the right of some Baptist preachers to declare the Gospel on the public streets of America. I wonder what he would say about our present-day America? What would he say about the Christian in America being concerned about the Christians in the Communist lands, such as Cuba, North Korea and China; or Muslim lands such as Iran,  Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, who are denied basic freedoms that we take for granted? I believe he would be appalled and raise an outcry against such tyranny. This we must also do.

But one more brief look at our scriptural principle for carrying the Gospel to the “closed” world against the wishes of the government in control there. In the Book of Acts, the Apostles were thrown in jail for preaching the Gospel after a warning from the leaders. But, an angel of God released them. Not only that, but the angel commanded them, "Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life"(Acts 5:20). They certainly were not wanted there, but they did this in obedience to God. Then they were brought before the authorities who had them thrown into prison. The officers of the law brought them before the Council (the Jewish Sanhedrim) and the high priest. They were asked, "Did we not straitly {directly} command you that you should not teach in this name ? And behold you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." Their answer was, "We ought to obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:28,29). Yes, when the decision has to be made; when there has to be an "either-or" proposition; when we have to decide, either obey God or obey man, we must obey God rather than man.

Some may object and say “Why do this where you are not wanted? You are not going to be able to save all of them.” That is correct. We are not going to be able to save anybody. Almighty God must do the saving. According to scripture, it has never been God’s design to save everybody in the world. But since we do not know who the elect are, we have to obey that command of Jesus Christ who said  “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

One brother true to this commission was George Whitefield of England. He was mightily used of God, and traveled to the new world to declare His gospel, as well as in England and Scotland. He said  “A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.”

J.I Packer stated something we should remember when doing witnessing and evangelism. He said “The unceasing activity of the Creator, whereby in overflowing bounty and goodwill, He upholds His creatures in ordered existence, guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and men, and directs everything to its appointed goal, for His own glory.”

Realizing “We must obey God rather than man”, keep this in mind, “I ask for Scriptures and Eck offers me the Fathers. I ask for the sun and he shows me his lanterns. I ask: 'Where is your Scripture proof?' and he adduces Ambrose and Cyril...With all due respect to the Fathers I prefer the authority of the Scripture.” Wise words from Martin Luther

Hudson Taylor was one man who understood the great commission: “No other missionary in the nineteen centuries since the Apostle Paul has had a wider vision and has carried out a more systematized plan of evangelizing a broad geographical area than Hudson Taylor.”  From Ruth Tucker in  From Jerusalem to Irian Jawa.
Let us be about the Father’s  business. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Friday, June 03, 2011


Jonathan Edwards is considered  by many to be the greatest theologian that America has ever produced, He was instrumental in the first Great Awakening, along with George Whitefield,  Gilbert Tennant and others. Shortly after this great spiritual awakening came the American Revolution. The seeds of this were likely sown in the principles of revival from about 1738 until the Revolutionary War.  Edwards had a very systematic way of dealing with practical truth, as well as Bible truth. In this letter to a young convert, we can see this clearly. He is not generally hard to read.

My dear young friend,
As you desired me to send you, in writing, some directions how to conduct yourself in your Christian course, I would now answer your request. The sweet remembrance of the great things I have lately seen at your church, inclines me to do anything in my power, to contribute to the spiritual joy and prosperity of God’s people there.

1. I would advise you to keep up as great a earnestness in religion, as if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature, and were seeking conversion. We advise people under conviction, to be earnest and violent for the kingdom of heaven; but when they have attained to conversion, they ought not to be the less watchful, laborious, and earnest, in the whole work of religion, but the more so; for they are under infinitely greater obligations. For lack of this, many people, in a few months after their conversion, have begun to lose their sweet and lively sense of spiritual things, and to grow cold and dark, and have "pierced themselves through with many sorrows;’ whereas, if they had done as the apostle did, (Phil. 3:12-14.) their path would have been "as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day."

2. Do not leave off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted people to strive for, and a degree of which you have had already in conversion. Pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know yourself, and be brought to God’s footstool; and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, and may be raised from the dead, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those who have most of these things, have need still to pray for them; for there is so much blindness and hardness, pride and death remaining, that they still need to have that work of God wrought upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them, that shall be bringing them out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, and be a kind of new conversion and resurrection from the dead. There are very few requests that are proper for an impenitent man, that are not also, in some sense, proper for the godly.

3. When you hear a sermon, hear for yourself. Though what is spoken may be more especially directed to the unconverted, or to those that, in other respects, are in different circumstances from yourself; yet, let the chief intent of your mind be to consider, "In what respect is this applicable to me? and what improvement ought I to make of this, for my own soul’s good?"

4. Though God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, yet do not forget them yourself: often remember, what a wretched bond-slave you were in the land of Egypt. Often bring to mind your particular acts of sin before conversion; as the blessed apostle Paul is often mentioning his old blaspheming, persecuting spirit, and his injuriousness to the renewed; humbling his heart, and acknowledging that he was "the least of the apostles," and not worthy "to be called an apostle," and the "least of all saints," and the "chief of sinners;" and be often confessing your old sins to God, and let that text be often in your mind, (Ezekiel 16:63.) "that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I am pacified toward you for all that you has done, says the Lord God."

5. Remember, that you have more cause, on some accounts, a thousand times, to lament and humble yourself for sins that have been committed since conversion, than before, because of the infinitely greater obligations that are upon you to live to God, and to look upon the faithfulness of Christ, in unchangeably continuing his loving-kindness, notwithstanding all your great unworthiness since your conversion.

6. Be always greatly abased for your remaining sin, and never think that you lie low enough for it; but yet be not discouraged or disheartened by it; for, though we are exceeding sinful, yet we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; the preciousness of whose blood, the merit of whose righteousness, and the greatness of whose love and faithfulness, infinitely overtop the highest mountains of our sins.

7. When you engage in the duty of prayer, or come to the Lord’s supper, or attend any other duty of divine worship, come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did; (Luke 7:37, 38.) Come, and cast yourself at his feet, and kiss them, and pour forth upon him the sweet perfumed ointment of divine love, out of a pure and broken heart, as she poured the precious ointment out of her pure broken alabaster box.

8. Remember, that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace, and of sweet communion with Christ: it was the first sin committed, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan’s whole building, and is with the greatest difficulty rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself.

9. That you may pass a correct judgment concerning yourself, always look upon those as the best discoveries, and the best comforts, that have most of these two effects: those that make you least and lowest, and most like a child; and those that most engage and fix your heart, in a full and firm disposition to deny yourself for God, and to spend and be spent for him.

10. If at any time you fall into doubts about the state of your soul, in dark and dull frames of mind, it is proper to review your past experience; but do not consume too much time and strength in this way: rather apply yourself, with all your might, to a pledge pursuit after renewed experience, new light, and new lively acts of faith and love. One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face, will do more toward scattering clouds of darkness in one minute, than examining old experience, by the best marks that can be given, through a whole year.

11. When the exercise of grace is low, and corruption prevails, and by that means fear prevails; do not desire to have fear cast out any other way, than by the reviving and prevailing of love in the heart: by this, fear will be effectually expelled, as darkness in a room vanishes away, when the pleasant beams of the sun are let into it.

12. When you counsel and warn others, do it earnestly, and affectionately, and thoroughly; and when you are speaking to your equals, let your warnings be intermixed with expressions of your sense of your own unworthiness, and of the sovereign grace that makes you differ.

13. If you would set up religious meetings of young women by yourselves, to be attended once in a while, besides the other meetings that you attend, I should think it would be very proper and profitable.

14. Under special difficulties, or when in great need of, or great longings after, any particular mercy, for yourself or others, set apart a day for secret prayer and fasting by yourself alone; and let the day be spent, not only in petitions for the mercies you desire, but in searching your heart, and in looking over your past life, and confessing your sins before God, not as is accustomed to be done in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal before God of the sins of your past life, from your childhood hitherto, before and after conversion, with the circumstances and aggravations attending them, and spreading all the abominations of your heart very particularly, and fully as possible, before him.

15. Do not let the adversaries of the cross have occasion to reproach religion on your account. How holily should the children of God, the redeemed and the beloved of the Son of God, behave themselves. Therefore, "walk as children of the light, and of the day," and "adorn the doctrine of God your Savior;" and especially, abound in what are called the Christian virtues, and make you like the Lamb of God: be meek and lowly of heart, and full of pure, heavenly, and humble love to all; abound in deeds of love to others, and self-denial for others; and let there be in you a disposition to account others better than yourself.

16. In all your course, walk with God, and follow Christ, as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ’s hand, keeping your eye on the marks of the wounds in his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin, and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robes of his righteousness.

17. Pray much for the ministers and the church of God; especially, that he would carry on his glorious work which he has now begun, until the world shall be full of his glory."

Particularly I would beg a special interest in your prayers and the prayers of your Christian companions, both when you are alone and when you are together, for your affectionate friend, who rejoices over you and desires to be your servant.

In Jesus Christ,
Jonathan Edwards