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FFBC - 2005 Annual Conference Overview - Monday & Tuesday

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches - Annual Conference Overview - Monday and Tuesday

The 66th Annual Conference of The Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches took place Monday, August 15 - Thursday, August 18, 2005 at Tri-State Bible Camp and Conference Center in Montague, New Jersey. The following is a report of the events of the Conference.

The Annual Conference officially began with the opening service at the Tri-State Chapel. Dr. Tony Fox, Exeutive Director of Foreign Development for Northland Baptist Bible College and until recently Vice President of Academic Affairs at NBBC, was the speaker for the evening services for the week. Tapes of the evening services are available from Tri-State Bible Camp.

Each night, Dr. Fox preached on the theme of "Struggles in the Ministry." Dr. Fox commented that we the struggles in ministry are universal because we have an adversary that is universal. On Monday night, Dr. Fox preached on The Struggle over our Inadequacy for Ministry and dealt in particular with the example of Moses as found in the book of Exodus. Dr. Fox commented that we have this treasure in earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7) and that we, who are descendants of lumps of dirt are engaged in communicating divine revelation. Dr. Fox also commented that God had to break Moses in the desert, and that often God has to break us of our own sense of greatness before we are instruments fit for His use. Satan often tries to get us to focus on our selves, but we need to realize that it does not matter who we are or what we lack - what matters is Who God is.

Tuesday, August 16

Tuesday morning featured a message from the Word of God, a business session and a panel discussion. Pastor Steve Snavely of Grace Baptist Church of Highland Falls, New York gave the morning message as he preached on Prayer - encouraging us regarding the frequency and fervency of our prayers.

The Tuesday morning business session included normal business items such as minutes and reports, as well as elections, with Pastor Mark Franklin of Hardingville Bible Church in Monroeville, New Jersey being re-elected as the President of the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches.

Tuesday mid-morning consisted of a Panel Discussion entitled Key Issues in the Culture War. Panelist for this discussion included Dr. Tony Fox, Dr. Al Martin (Instructor for Fundamental Bible Institute), Mr. Frank D'Agostino (a layman from Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey), and Pastor Frank Sansone (Pastor of Messiah Baptist Fellowship of Salisbury, Maryland). The discussion included questions from the floor and essentially focused on three areas of the culture war (life vs. death, marriage vs. sexual idolatry, and expression of faith vs. suppression of faith), dealing with the evaluation of cultural issues as they appear and responding to these issues as Christians. Mr. Frank D'Agostino discussed some issues that laymen face in the corporate world regarding these issues. Emphasis was also made on the fact that the cultural battle is often best dealt with on a spiritual level, a personal level, and an pre-emptive level. Dealing with the cultural issues on a spiritual level involves the recognition that these things ultimately are heart issues and that it is God Who changes the heart and that salvation in Christ brings about changes that no amount of human effort could ever accomplish. Dealing with cultural issues on a personal level emphasizes the importance of dealing with individuals on a one-on-one basis rather than focusing on the groups. Dealing with cultural issues on a pre-emptive level emphasizes the need to respond to corruption in culture before the corruption has been allowed to become the norm. Discussion also involved the importance of not letting the issues take precedence in ministry, and explored the relationship of Fundamentalists to the groups and leaders of these cultural battles.

After an afternoon of food and fellowship (including the annual Pastors v. Delegates Softball Game, which was won this year by the Pastors), the evening service again featured an excellent message by Dr. Tony Fox, this time on the Struggle for Purity in the Ministry. Dr. Fox dealt with the false view of the body as found in 1 Corinthians 6 and then focused on the example of Joseph in Genesis 39, considering two key realities that helped Joseph to remain pure during the time of temptation. The first reality was that sexual immorality is primarily a sin against God because it is a sin against God's temple (our body) and because it is a sin against the owner of the body. The second reality that Joseph understood that the flesh is powerful - its characteristic is weak (Mt. 26:41), its composition is "not good" (Rom. 7:12), its consequences is death (Rom. 8:5) and its confidence is to be none (Rom 13:14, Phil 3:3). In light of these truths, Dr. Fox discussed the problem of men coming into our colleges with problems in this area and encouraged us to put up safeguards in our lives to help us win over the struggle for purity in the ministry.

After a break, Tuesday night concluded with a Question and Answer Time with Dr. Fox for the Pastors of the F.F.B.C. This annual time of heart to heart conversation with the speaker is often a time of great blessing to the Pastors and this year was no exception to that rule.