First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who’s More Compassionate? People of Faith or Atheists?

Once a week I visit a local senior center (am I still allowed to call them nursing homes?) and I lead a Bible study and hymn sing. A handful of older ladies attend. They enjoy the time we spend together, and I enjoy it as well. I do ask myself every so often why I am doing this. Is the reason based upon the pleasure I receive from my trips? Or, is it because I have compassion for the people of this particular senior center? Or is the reason because of some religious law or conviction that compels me to help the poor and down trodden? I’m not sure, but I can tell you that the reason is probably hiding in those questions somewhere.
There was a study released recently that claims atheists are more compassionate than religious people. You can read an article about this claim here. I don’t have the time to study the study and see how they came up with this stuff. However, on its face, the claim makes no sense because of the problems that arise from attempting to identify compassionate people. How does one quantify compassion in someone else? How does one experiment and/or test compassion? Usually these studies are done through some sort of polling. The problem with asking people questions about themselves is the inability to gauge whether a person is answering truthfully. This is especially true when asking questions about morality and ethics. Everyone says they are good, everyone says they are moral. In the end all you have is a study that doesn’t really say much about anything.
That has not stopped atheists from lifting up this study as a way of feeling good about themselves. An example of this can be found on this website. Hey, whatever floats your boat. The problem is that this study and the people interpreting it do not understand what religion is. They do not understand what motivates religious people, and therefore they do not understand that the desire of a person of faith to be compassionate comes from loving God and loving people.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)
For the faithful, compassion comes from relationships. We are in a real and powerful relationship with our Father in Heaven. God is present within me; I experience God’s love for me first hand. God treats me with compassion every day, just like my parents have treated me with compassion my whole life. And because of this I know what a loving, caring and supportive relationship looks like. I know what compassion within relationships looks like because I have lived it. Thus I am motivated to keep extending my circle of relationships. Because of the loving relationship I have with God I want to develop loving relationships with the people around me. Compassion to a person of faith is simply experiencing something wonderful and desiring to spread the wonderful feeling around. What separates us from people who do not experience God’s presence, is the universal nature of our compassion. The Bible teaches us that we are all in relationship with each other and with our Heavenly Father. As result we have embraced the vision of extending love and compassion to every human being on the planet. Our mission is no less than creating a world of brotherly and sisterly relationships, under a heavenly parent. This vision inspires the people of faith to reach out with compassion more profoundly than any law or moral code ever could.
Maybe the people who did the study should sit with me as I hang with my lady friends at the senior center. Maybe then they might see that compassion has nothing to do with polling questions. It has everything to do with loving God and loving people.
God bless you,
Pastor Bill

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snake Handler Dies of Snake Bite


A sad story today, Mack Wolford was a old fashioned snake handling preacher. He died the other day after being bitten by a rattlesnake. The Gospel of Mark says people of faith can handle snakes and not be harmed. However, other passages say that we should not put God to the test. I’m with the non-testing God crowd. How about you?

Please pray for Mack Wolford’s friends and family today.

Link to the Story…

They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well (Mark 16:18).

We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes (1 Corinthians 10:9).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Church Built in 24 Hours

church day
The Rev. Gregg Davison has stood before his fledgling congregation and told them, “If we build it, they will come.”
Davison is halfway there. More than 300 Pentecostals from across the country traveled to the heart of Iowa last week to build a house of worship for his church.
The building seemed to literally go up overnight as part of the “Church in a Day” program created by United Pentecostal Church International, headquartered in Missouri. Professional contractors, many of them volunteers, finish the foundation, plumbing and electricity before erecting the building itself in about 24 hours. More than 80 churches have been completed, including now three in Iowa.
Read Article…

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pray for Kids for Christ 2012



This Saturday is our annual Kids for Christ event. Every years kids from all over the NY/NY metropolitan area sing, dance, and recite Bible verses. It’s really awesome to see how hard the kids have worked on their presentations.


Please pray for the safety and success of KFC 2012.


To learn more…

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pastor Bob Fu and China Aid


It has been a busy week for Pastor "Bob" Xiqiu Fu, a pastor from Midland, Texas, who has spent considerable time on the international stage working for the release of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese activist who arrived in the United States on Saturday after weeks of diplomatic back and forth between two global super powers.

Fu is the president of ChinaAid, a Christian human rights organization that has been campaigning for Chen's freedom.

After he and his wife were arrested for "illegal evangelism," they fled to Hong Kong in 1996.
From there, they immigrated to the United States and ended up in "dusty" Midland, Texas, where in 2002 they founded ChinaAid.

The group focuses on "exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused, and spiritually and legally equipping the leaders to defend their faith and freedom," according to a statement on its website.
Find Out More…

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

God’s Random Creation


I am working on a telescope mirror making project. I am grinding and polishing an 8” mirror by hand. So far I’ve put about 7 hours of work into it, and I estimate that I will put another 14 hours. These time estimates do not account for me messing up. One screw up will add two or three hours to the work load. Many people have asked me why I am doing this. I have access to a machine that can do the work for me, and I can buy a piece of glass that has been done by a professional company. So, why am I spending so much time on this project? Because I can do a better job than they can. And that is because of the power of randomness. Our hands and arms produce random motion and random pressure. And it’s that randomness that produces a near perfect spherical telescope mirror. A machine just can’t reproduce the kind of random motions our hands can. And the funny thing is we don’t have to try to be random. It happens automatically.

In the world of astrophysics the terms; random, chaos and uncertainty have become an important part of how science describes the creation. Let me give you an example. A photon can have mass or it doesn’t, depending upon how you experiment on it. A photon can be a wave length rippling through the cosmos or it isn’t. A photon can be in two places at once, or it can’t. What matters is how the experiment is set up. Different experiments give seemingly contradictory results. However, photons have to be this way in order to do their job. And that is, to give us heat and light, without killing us. Thus randomness is an important part of how the creation works.

Now us Christians do not like these terms. We believe that God has a plan for everything, and that chaos, randomness and uncertainty do not fit in with God’s plan. For us, these terms fall outside of God’s organized universe. But, what if God uses randomness in God’s creation? Let’s take a look at the book of Ecclesiastes and see what it says about this subject.

If clouds are full of water,
    they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (Eccl 11:3-4)

This passage acknowledges the seeming randomness of our world. The clouds and rain come when they will; a tree falls where it may. A person who does not work regardless of these chaotic circumstances will not harvest a crop. Here is another passage that explains it further.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things. (Eccl 11:5)

This passage acknowledges the seeming randomness, the path of the wind, and says that it is all a part of the work of God. And so, randomness is an important part of God’s creation. Just because we don’t fully understand why this is, doesn’t mean that God does not use randomness to make things work. Even chaos is a part of God’s amazing plan.

Soon I will return to the grind stone, literally, and attempt to create my near perfect mirror. Funny, it is the seeming imperfection of how I work that creates the seeming perfection of the star images in my eyepiece. Praise God today my friends, this is how God created the universe.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill
Uncovering God in Everything

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pray for the People of Syria


It's been 15 months since sects in Syria began their attacks against President Assad's regime. The violence is getting worse, and more innocent people are being killed.

President of Medical Teams International Bas Vanderzalm says, "There are over 100,000 people who are now receiving food. There are 65,000--and many more--now on the way as refugees, because it's just too difficult of a place. A number of them are Christians who are finding persecution and difficulty."
To Read More…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bible Balloons Make it to North Korea



Seoul USA, a Korean-American NGO that launches Bibles and gospel flyers into North Korea 70 to 80 times a year, now has proof that the balloons are reaching their target.

Using GPS tracking devices overlaid onto Google Maps, Seoul USA is confirming the precise location of several of its launches this year and posting the photographic images on its website.

“We’ve known for years that our balloon launches were reaching the targeted areas because of the angry response of the North Korean government,” said Seoul USA President the Rev. Eric Foley. “But the GPS devices provide us with precise verification that will enable us to further increase the accuracy of future launches.”


Read the rest of the article…

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why God Says No

Last week’s essay on this subject brought up the ages old question; why do bad things happen to good people? Why do people get cancer? Why do wars happen? Keeping in mind that this question is very difficult to answer, I will try to help with some of my ideas.

1 - All of us have freewill. We are unique in the universe. We have distinct personalities that contribute to the overall miracle of creation. Because we are created in God's image we make our own decisions, forge our own path in the cosmos. If God controlled our decision making, we would be robots. We would not be unique, and thus could not contribute to God's glory. As a result of God's great gift of individual personalities, we make mistakes and even commit evil actions. God wisely does not stop us from doing this because that would take away our freedom, would take away our uniqueness.

2 - The accidents of time. The core of the earth is hot, molten, and contains a lot of metal. This creates the magnetosphere which protects us from solar radiation. If we did not have a magnetosphere, our planet would be as dead as Mars. The same forces which create this shield, also cause earthquakes and volcanoes. Every natural catastrophe has something beneficial as the cause. Even cancer comes from biological processes that make our lives possible. We are concerned for ourselves and our loved ones. But God is concerned for everyone, and for all time. The accidents of time benefit more than they harm.

3 - God knows what is best for us. We know about yesterday and today. But God knows what is in our future. And God has prepared a wonderful future for all of us. God knows that the temporary afflictions of this day, will be quickly forgotten as we join Him in the eternal future. Having faith in God's plan for us is the greatest gift God has given to us, and the greatest challenge we face. It is very easy to give up hope. But the old saying is true; it may be dark on Friday, but Sunday is coming!

Pastor Bill

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why God Says No


If I ask God for something, and I have faith, will I get it? This question has been raised to me on many occasions. Today, I am pondering it anew. My daughter was recently in a production of 42nd Street by the Rahway High School theater program. It was a great show, and I was present every night. I like to sit way up in the back of the theater. One night a young mom was in the nose bleed section with me watching her little girl run up and down the stairs. The little girl didn’t want to sit and watch the show, so she was scrambling all over the place. I was a little nervous about her getting hurt. But there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it, so that was that. Now, if that were my daughter, she would have been sitting in her seat and if she didn’t like it I would have found a corner for her to stand in. My kids keep telling me what a tough dad I was, but I think I was just trying to protect them and teach them the rules of proper behavior. After all when children become adults, they have to live within the rules of society. If not they end up hurting themselves, hurting someone else, and/or in jail. So I see it as my job to teach my children how to function in the world, and that includes knowing when to say yes to them, and knowing when to say no.

When do I say no to my kids? The simple answer is, when I thought it was in their best interests. When do I say yes? Same answer. Job asked a simple question of God, why did this disaster happen to me? The answer he received was equally simple; I know what is best for you. Just like a wise parent knows how to guide his/her children into their future, God knows how best to prepare us for the long haul. “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). God is timeless and is not limited by time like we are. Therefore, God knows our past, our present and our future. “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 145:5). Each one of us is unique in the creation, and yet, God knows everything there is to know about us. “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). As a result, God is the wise ruler of the heavens, and knows what is best for us. As a result, when we make our petitions to God, sometimes He says yes and sometimes he says no, according to His Will for us.

Ah, but what about this quote; “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). The answer to this question resides in the words; if you remain in me and my words remain in you. What this means is that if we are connected to God through our faith in Jesus Christ, that spiritual connection will give us the ability to do God’s will. And if our petitions are in accord with God’s will, we will always receive the answer yes. In other words, getting what we want from God depends upon whether what we want is in accord with God’s plan for us. Just like the situation with my kids. When they ask for something that is good for them, they’ll always get a yes.

Now my kids are becoming adults and are almost on their own. The day is coming when they will be making decisions that are in my best interest. Man - that is going to be seriously weird.

God bless you,
Pastor Bill

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Prayers Needed for Iran


I have asked for prayer for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, now I am asking you to pray for his attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah. He has been accused of acting against National Security because of his defense of Pastor Yousef. He could go to jail for nine years. Meanwhile, Pastor Yousef and his family wait to see if Iran will execute him. Please pray for these victims of persecution. Below is a statement from Attorney Dadkhah.

"I have been convicted of acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime, and keeping banned books at home," Dadkhah told the Guardian.

Dadkhah has also reportedly been banned from teaching at universities or practicing law for 10 years.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which has been working to secure the release of Nadarkhani, fears the decision to jail Dadkhah puts the Christian pastor at greater risk.

"The news that this renowned human rights attorney has been sentenced to prison by Iranian officials is very troubling," Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ, said.

"With his attorney facing nine years in prison, and no other lawyer likely to take the case, Pastor Youcef has no legal advocate, which places him at greater risk," he said.
God bless you,
Pastor Bill

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cornell West, Prophet of the Poor

Below is an excerpt from New York Magazine about Cornell West, professor at Princeton University. He is an exciting speaker and an interesting person. He says he is a modern day prophet, read the article and decide for yourself.

In November 2007, Cornel West got onstage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and before a hollering crowd of more than a thousand people, with much arm-­waving and wrist-flapping, along with a certain amount of ass-wagging, introduced his candidate for president of the United States—“my brother, my companion, and my comrade”—Barack Obama. “He’s an eloquent brother,” preached West. “He’s a good brother, he’s a decent brother.” Obama returned the sloppy kiss and pronounced West “an oracle.”

That compliment could not have been more apt, for West regards himself as a prophet more than a professor. He believes that he is called to teach God’s justice to a heedless nation. “There is a price to pay for speaking the truth,” reads the signature on e-mails coming from West’s office. “There is a bigger price for living a lie.” So when his view of the commander-in-chief changed from adoration to disappointment, West was moved to proclaim it out loud. He had already been lobbing rhetorical grenades in the direction of the Oval Office, calling the president “spineless” for his failure to make poor and working people a policy priority and “milquetoast” for kowtowing to corporate interests during the economic crisis. But in an interview with Truthdig, ­published last May, West went nuclear. He called Obama “the black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs.” And then he said he wanted to “slap him,” as the article put it, “on the side of his head.”

In the white world of mainstream media, the interview made a few headlines. But in precincts of the left, and among certain African-American scholars, it unleashed a tide of anguish. West has been an intellectual celebrity for three decades, protected and cherished by his like-minded comrades, but the nasty tone of his Truthdig comments caused many of his closest colleagues to question their devotion, to suspect his motives, and to wonder whether West’s prominence had finally exceeded his merit. Their concerns were in part pragmatic: As the 2012 election approached, some thought West might make his case better if he weren’t quite so mean.
Read the Rest of the Article from New York Magazine…

Monday, May 7, 2012

Arming Clergy in the Philippines


“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. (Matthew 26:52.)

THE SPATE OF KILLINGS perpetrated against Philippine journalists in recent years may have compelled the drafting of a Senate Bill which seeks to arm not only accredited media people, but the clergy and other professionals as well.

Senate Bill 2993, principally authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, proposes to arm members of the Philippine Bar, Certified Public Accountants, accredited media practitioners, cashiers, bank tellers, priests, ministers, rabbi, imams, physicians and nurses, engineers and businesspersons.

To read more…

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pray for Kids for Christ

Please Pray for our yearly children's event, Kids for Christ. Upwards of 100 kids come from all around to perform at it. Please pray that everyone will have a safe and happy experience.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pray for FBC Rahway’s Senior Ministry

Howdy Friends, I wanted to give you an idea of what we are doing at Atria Assisted Living in Cranford. This is a new ministry we are putting together at a local senior home. I was over on Tuesday singing and praying with a few of the ladies (so far no men have attended, what’s up with that?) and I figured I would talk a little bit about the people there.
Nancy is a lovely lady originally from North Carolina. She speaks with a slight southern accent, which tipped me off right away that she wasn’t from around here. She moved up to NJ to be with her children and came to Atria just a few months ago because she became confined to a wheelchair and her kid’s home couldn’t accommodate her. Nancy is slightly hard of hearing but that doesn’t stop her from singing along with the old gospel songs I sing with the guitar when I visit.
Marge is another of the women who come and enjoy the music we sing. She lived in Florida for 30 years after retiring there with her husband. Sadly he died of cancer a while ago and she decided to stay there because she had so many friends in the area. Marge came to NJ because she fell and broke her hip. She to is confined to a wheelchair and she choose Atria because it was close to her children. Marge’s vision isn’t so good, but she can hear well and has a good sense of humor. Her favorite songs are “Amazing Grace” and “In the Garden”.
I teach a Bible Study at Atria on Thursday’s at 6PM. I hope to write about some of the other people who attend that meeting. Please pray for Nancy and Marge and all of the folks at Atria. Thank You.
Pastor Bill

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

‘Bounty’ on Tim Tebow’s Virginity





How low can people go? Here is an excerpt from The Christian Post about a company trying to trap Tim Tebow in a scandal…


The New Orleans Saints bounty scandal is currently being dealt with by NFL officials, and already another bounty has been issued: $1 million in exchange for proof that Tim Tebow is no longer a virgin.

A controversial website that helps married individuals have affairs,, is offering $1 million to the woman who can prove she has been sexually involved with the New York Jets' quarterback.

"I personally thought it was a very offensive publicity stunt...And I think that not only is it insulting to highlight Tim in that way, but I think it's insulting to all the people who hold to the same conviction that Tim would have," Esther Fleece, a Focus on the Family spokesperson, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.


Read the Rest of the Article…