Thursday, August 31, 2006

Goodbye, Dr. Corts

This past Tuesday evening, a dear friend, and my former pastor, C. Mark Corts of Calvary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC, passed into that which is to come after a long struggle with kidney and heart diseases. He was a model of theological conviction, drive, determination, and cooperation with others of differing views (Memphis Declaration Signers, here’s the reason I signed the declaration), underwritten by a love for His Lord and a desire to teach His Word. I had the opportunity to serve on the staff of Calvary several years ago, and I can say that, while I somewhat lament the conditions there now, for the place isn’t what it once was, the church has, because he built it for His Lord not on Jesus Loves Me pabulum sermons but on expository preaching and teaching from both the pulpit and the Sunday School classes, fared far better than most SBC churches I know in these days of doctrinal and biblical illiteracy and struggles over biblical sufficiency.

This article appeared in my newspaper today. Please join me in both grieving and rejoicing with his family and his church. We have lost another soldier of the cross in the Southern Baptist Convention this year. Dr. Rogers and Mrs. Criswell recently joined the Church Triumphant. It looks like the Convention is moving out of Nashville and into Heaven these days, doesn’t it?

13 comments:

  1. "This past Tuesday evening, a dear friend, and my former pastor, C. Mark Corts of Calvary Baptist Church passed into that which is to come after a long struggle with kidney and heart diseases."

    I think you mean the grave here, right? After all, that's what usually comes next.

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  2. I think you mean the grave here, right? After all, that's what usually comes next.

    Only if you are a materialist, Ted.

    Thanks for posting this Gene.

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  3. So, whether people go into a grave or not when they die depends on whether or not I'm a materialist? I could be an immaterialist, and still people go into graves when they die. I could be mistaken about my immaterialism too, and people still go into the grave when they die. Have you ever been to a cemetery before?

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  4. Only if you think people are only composed of a material nature. Surely their physical bodies go into the grave, no one denies this Ted.

    "that which is to come after" means so much more to those who are not strick materialists, therefore, it is not the grave and your comment was wrong.

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  5. You're also an idiot Ted, because you know what Gene meant and you couldn't help but make a stupid statement like that in this context...

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  6. "Only if you think people are only composed of a material nature."

    Sorry, Jeffy boy. People go into graves after they die no matter what I think. My thinking has no influence on this fact.

    ""that which is to come after" means so much more to those who are not strick materialists, therefore, it is not the grave and your comment was wrong."

    Phrases can mean all kinds of things to different people, but this too is irrelevant. People still go into the grave when they die. If you don't believe this, consult a biologist. Oh, and I think the word you're looking for is "strict," not "strick."

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  7. Sorry, Jeffy boy. People go into graves after they die no matter what I think. My thinking has no influence on this fact.

    Again, you are wrong, Teddy boy. While the body goes into the grave (no one would deny this) there is an immaterial nature that survives the body. I understand you would disagree with this, but the fact remains, Gene was not looking for grave.

    Thanks!

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  8. Ted, I consider your statement to be in the worst possible taste. Reference to the death of a person should not be used for the making of cheap shots. I pray that no-one will make similar comments when you are laid to rest. Really, I do. Cheap shots on a person's passing are wrong and wicked, no matter who makes them. For example 'pastor' Phelps and his whelps should be strung up for their twisted 'witnessing' at the funerals of homosexuals.

    If on a person's passing: 'if you can't say anything real nice,
    It's better not to talk at all, is my advice.'

    'that which is to come' is no more necessarily a synonym for grave than 'at rest' is. Semantic games are foolish and a classic sign that someone has no real argument. This I know because that is when I get tempted to deploy them.

    'people still go into the grave when they die.' Yes, most people are buried. However, does that come immediately after death? In the West there is normally a gap between death and burial. The body will at last go down into the grave. But the spirit, absent from the body, goes up to heaven or downwards to hell.

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  9. James H. Nielsen8/31/2006 8:18 PM

    But the spirit, absent from the body, goes up to heaven or downwards to hell.

    I've always wondered about this choice of words - "up" to heave or "down" to hell. If we go "up," we encounter clouds, thinning atmosphere, eventually the cosmos. If we go "down" we encounter the crust, mantle, core, mantle, then crust again, to come back out on the other side of the earth.

    Where do we find "heaven" and "hell"?

    Just curious.

    James

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  10. James,

    I would expect this statement from a naturalist. Heaven is "up" because it is a higher state of spiritual being. Hell is "down" because it is a lower state of spiritual being.....

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  11. Quite. Figurative language deriving from long-term usage. Like when I refer to the sun rising and the Four Corners of the Earth.

    It's a good question, James, because it's always good to ask why we use certain forms of words. Often we do talk 'code' as it were.

    Euripides is right about why, it is do do with 'states of being.'

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  12. James H. Nielsen9/04/2006 8:13 PM

    Thanks for your responses. So, what I'm hearing is that heaven and hell are merely "states of being"? Do they not have location? If not, how can we say they exist? Are they not places? If someone "goes to heaven" while another "goes to hell," is this just more "code"? How does affirming both heaven and hell as "states of being" unlock this "code"? It seems to only make it more confusing.

    My curiosity persists.

    James

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