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 30, 2013

Faith Based "FEMA"

Even as President Barack Obama consoles victims and promises the government's assistance "every step of the way," the so-called "faith-based FEMA" is already out in force—from Mennonite Disaster Service chainsaw crews to Samaritan's Purse debris cleanup teams to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance pastoral counselors.
In a visit Sunday to this devastated Oklahoma City suburb, Obama said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has registered more than 4,200 people for direct assistance and approved more than $3.4 million in direct aid.
"Obviously, there's a lot more to come," the president said. "But it's not just a government response. We've seen incredible outpourings of support from churches, from community groups who are helping folks begin to recover."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pope Declares Everyone Redeemed, then Vatican Says No

Said Pope Francis this week: 'The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!'

That seemed like a pretty clear admission that people of other faiths and none have intrinsic worth to God and will be saved alongside the faithful. But this turned out to be wishful thinking.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Billy Graham Crusade Responds to Tornado

As residents start to comprehend the scope of disaster in Oklahoma, crisis-trained chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are on the ground, prepared to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of those whose world has been forever changed.
“Pictures don’t do justice to what’s going on in the hearts of the people there,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
“Our hearts are breaking for all those in the path of this horrific tornado. Our entire organization is praying for them.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chinese House Churches Fly Under the Radar

Contradictory actions and statements continue to cloud the stability of Chinese church houses in recent months.
House churches, an unofficial form of religious worship for Christians that are not affiliated with the Chinese government, have maintained an ambiguous role in the lives of the faithful within the world's most populous nation.
However, a missionary in China said recently that this is changing.
Pastor Stephen Lei Chen, founder of Mission in China International (MICI), said last month that house churches have finally received "silent consent" from the central government.
Chen, who was director of the Chinese branch of MICI until it merged with Gospel Operation International, has devoted much of his life to the missionary and ministry work in China and believes he is seeing a change in attitudes.
While speaking with Chinese-American Christians at the New Jersey Missionary Council in April, he said, "As long as the [hidden] churches remain modest, inconspicuous, and neutral towards the government, then they will not be suppressed by the authorities.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pray for Tornado Victims

Rescue crews were searching Tuesday for survivors and victims of a massive tornado that had devastated a suburb of Oklahoma City, grinding up entire neighborhoods and obliterating an elementary school full of students and teachers.
The swath of devastation in Moore, Okla., was up to a mile wide and 20 miles long. The state medical examiner’s office told the Associated Press early Tuesday that at least 40 more bodies were expected, in addition to the 51 people already confirmed dead as a result of Monday afternoon’s storm.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Miraculous Sun

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:14-18 NIV.

My friends, I just have to tell you what an incredible job God has done on our neighborhood star. The Sun is an amazing object, created in perfect equilibrium, to bless us with warmth and light. I’ve been reading a book; Stars, Their Birth, Life and Death by Iosif S. Shklovskii and I am here to tell you just how wonderful is that burning ball of gas we all know and love.

Stars start out in dense clouds of molecules. Space is not empty, it is full of stuff. Mostly the stuff is hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. But there is plenty of other stuff out there, and stars do not form around hydrogen, they form in dense, cold clouds of hydroxyl (OH). Related to water, hydroxyl sends out radio waves, which is how we know they exist. The cold temperatures and gravity cause more molecules to be drawn into the cloud. As more material is gathered the cloud starts to heat up and emits the radio signals that are the first evidence of a proto-star.

And thus we have the first miracle. As the cloud gathers more stuff, it creates more gravity. The higher gravity should cause the material to collapse in upon itself creating something other than a star. However, as gaseous material builds up it creates pressure and that pressure wants to push the molecules away. That would cause the proto-star to disburse. Instead the two forces come into balance, called hydrostatic equilibrium. Thus, our sun stays constant and unchanging, because God caused the cosmic forces at work to be in balance.

The second miracle is the production of heat and light. Our blazing ball of gas would either not give us enough heat and light or would burn out if all it did was produce these elements through pressure. Our Sun needed to ignite the internal fire of thermonuclear radiation. When the heat and pressure of the core of our sun reached a certain level, nuclear reactions commenced. With thermonuclear reactions heating ongoing, our sun can radiate heat and light for a very long time, which is good for us. Here’s the real miracle. The hydrogen atoms in our Sun do not posses enough energy to fuse and create radiation because of the Coulomb Barrier. This barrier is the reason I can’t put my hand through the table in front of me. The energy field around electrons won’t allow it. If the hydrogen in our Sun had enough energy to pass the barrier, our Sun would have burned out a long time ago. However, a very small amount of hydrogen does posses enough energy to pass through the barrier and fuse. Just enough to create just enough heat and light with just enough hydrogen fuel left over to keep the Sun going for a long, long time. Miraculous!

The third miracle involves the limits to the production of heat and light. Despite the Coulomb Barrier, our Sun produces so much energy in its core, that if all of that energy were released we would be burned to a crisp. However, the Sun reabsorbs the energy before most of it can pass through the many layers and into space. The Sun has heavy elements within it, some were created by thermonuclear reactions and others gathered in from space during its formation. These heavy elements regulate our star to release just the right amount of radiation to heat our world without turning us all into little strips of fried bacon. Isn’t that amazing!

With this brief description, I hope you can see what an incredible miracle the Sun truly is. I praise God for it, and I hope that you will as well.

“God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”

God bless you,

Pastor Bill 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Loneliness Can Kill You

Today I have linked to an article in the New Republic on the subject of loneliness. Studies over the past 40 years have shown that social and/or emotional isolation can shorten a persons life. This is an excellent area for those of us who wish to do ministry to explore and seek new mission fields. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Survey on How Pastors View Science

Today, a survey conducted by Barna Research asked the question, what do Pastors think about science? The majority of respondents are not entirely sure. When you look at the survey results, add up how many are leaning and or uncertain, and you have a clear majority. Still, many pastors have strong beliefs on both sides of the aisle.

Read the article...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Let There be Separation in the Accretion Disk

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. Genesis 1:6-8 NIV.

The early universe was jammed packed with highly energized particles. These particles consisted of protons, neutrons and electrons that possessed a great amount of energy in the form of momentum, or speed if you will. This momentum still exists in the universe; because energy never disappears it just gets redistributed. The momentum of these early objects was distributed to other objects as they slammed into each other, which produced energy in the form of photons, and objects that were moving at a slower pace, or, less energetic.

Over time some of the mass in the universe became gravitationally attracted, and because the momentum had decreased, the objects started to circle around each other. This is the beginning of the great galaxy forming clouds that began to organize the universe into what we see today.

These uncounted protons, neutrons and electrons through their gravitational attraction started to clump together, creating the first stars. The massive stars of the early universe plowed through the clouds of tiny objects scooping them up and adding them to their already massive sizes. The cores of these stars could not withstand the inward pressure and collapsed, creating an outward reaction in the form of an explosion. Supernovas were the spectacular end to the original stars, and this turned out to be a good thing for us, because these explosions spread the material that the stars collected throughout the cosmos. Supernovas also spread objects larger than protons; i.e., the elements of the periodic table that were created in the intense heat of the stellar caldron.

As a result the great clouds of gas and dust were full of the heavier elements that make life possible on our world. As more and smaller stars formed, these clouds of stuff begin to fall into a disk that orbits the equator of the star. This is called an accretion disk. The majority of objects in our solar system orbit the sun along an accretion disk and the same is true for our galaxy.

During the formation of our solar system, the accretion disk was similar to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Collections of rock and ice whizzed around waiting for a chance to smash into something (hopefully not us). In the midst of this spinning confusion, matter started to clump together and form the planets. As the planets got bigger, they collected more and more of the material orbiting in their vicinity. The accretion disk started to see lanes in it, like the Cassini Division in the rings of Saturn. The planets separated the disk of rocks and ice until the disk disappeared, leaving remnants for us to study; the Asteroid Belt, the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.

This brings us to our Bible passage. On the second day, God separated the waters to create the land for us to live on. This is consistent with our understanding of the formation of galaxies and solar systems. The Stars and planets form in clouds of material, and those clouds form accretion disks that separate and create lanes when the stars and planets plow through them to form the necessary structures that support life. The biblical story talks about water separating to form the land because Moses looked up in the sky and saw what looked like water, and looked down and saw water, and so his description is understandable. But it hides a greater truth…

God separated the material within the universe to form a wonderful place where we can exist.

“God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.”

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Problems with Preachers Kids

Beneath the stereotypes of preacher's kids as either goody two-shoes or devilish hellions lies a tense and sometimes taxing reality, the children of clergy say. Studies show that many PK's, as the lingo goes, struggle with issues of identity, privacy and morality. There's even a support group, Preacher's Kids International, dedicated to the "celebration and recovery of those who grew up in the parsonage."


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meet Rahway's Melinda Maysonet

Melinda has graciously offered to counsel those in need at First Baptist Rahway. Below is a brief biography, as you can see, Melinda is a gifted Christian Counselor and we are very fortunate to have her working with us.

Melinda Maysonet became a member of First Baptist Church in December of 2009.  She initially served as our youth group leader and subsequently became our church counselor.  While working as an Administrative Assistant, Melinda earned both a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Human Services and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology.  During her graduate studies, she interned as a mental health counselor at a GED program in Harlem, NYC where she provided counseling services for both students and staff, established policies and procedures, and created the official forms utilized in the Counseling Department.   Upon completion of her graduate studies, Melinda worked as an in-home family therapist, providing behavioral therapy to children and their families.  She currently works as the Administrative Assistant to the Interim Provost at Rutgers University and has recently started her own counseling practice. 

Melinda is passionate about helping young people and adults understand and practicably apply the principles found in God’s word to their everyday lives so that they may experience the peace, joy and abundant life promised.

If you wish to speak with Melinda, call Pastor Bill at the church and he will get you in touch.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Big Bang in Genesis

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis 1:3-5 NIV.

I hope that you recognize the creation narrative in Genesis. Hopefully you have also noticed a strange feature of this narrative. Light appears on the first day, before the Sun, Moon and stars are created on the fourth day. Many people have asked; how can this be? I’m happy to tell you that this apparent inconsistency is not inconsistent at all. In fact, the creation story in Genesis fits very nicely with current theories in astrophysics concerning the creation of the universe. We call these theories, the Big Bang. Indulge me a moment while I attempt to show you how this works.

Astrophysicists call it the Plank Era, the moment of creation. They do not know much about it, like where all of this stuff we call the universe came from. We Christians know where everything came from; God. And Christian doctrine says that God created the universe out of nothing, which is in line with where astrophysicists think it all came from. Once something happened and the early universe came into being within the very first moment, 10-35 seconds or a hundred-billionth of a yoctosecond (a what?), the universe was pure energy. And the creation was opaque, which means it was bright, but nothing was visible. The universe expanded quickly, and as it expanded energy was spread out and started to cool. From a hundred-billionth to a hundred-millionth of a yoctosecond, the universe cooled to the point where small elementary particles and antiparticles started to form, and then annihilate themselves back into energy. These exotic particles only exist in our world when we momentarily create them in atom smashers. But it wasn't long (1 attosecond!) before more recognizable particles started to appear; photons and neutrino’s. The elementary particles continued to form larger particles as conditions continued to cool down. Within a millisecond of the beginning of all things electrons and neutrons formed. Within the first second, protons formed and mass as we know it came into being.

The early universe continued on like this for another 300,000 years. But as the creation continued to expand and cool, the opaque light dissipated, and universe darkened; “and there was evening and there was morning, the first day”. The matter that had formed from the Big Bang started to coalesce into stars and galaxies, and we begin to have something that looks like our wonderful home today.

A major piece of evidence supporting the Big Bang theory was discovered right here in New Jersey. Amo Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) at a Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, about 15 minutes from my home. I am fortunate to have been able to visit the receiver which they used. The CMBR is a remnant of the early high energy universe. Energy never disappears; it spreads out and cools down over time and throughout an expanding universe. In other words, the light from the beginning of time when the universe was opaque still exists! It’s like we are looking at the first day of creation. “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 

So, what does all of this mean to those of us who want to understand how God created the heavens and the earth? It means that we should not be afraid of modern science. The Biblical witness covers a great many subjects, including what we would call science. And the Biblical witness can be surprisingly consistent with modern theories surrounding these subjects. It is up to us to learn as much as we can so that we can better understand our loving Father in Heaven, who created the heavens and the earth for us.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

(Universe; General Editor Martin Rees, DK Publishing, NY, NY)