For God so Loved the World (except Esau)...
Pastor Joe Gadd said he was probably the only Baptist minister who had to look up John 3:16 to get it right. He felt it was over used and in the wrong way. I knew him well. He taught me what an Independent Baptist was. I have known several preachers personally. I am not overawed by them.
Brother Gadd started young. He was ordained at 19. He began to put up his Christmas tree when several elders came to visit. They asked what he was doing. He told them he was just putting up his tree. "Oh, no, no, no," they explained. "That is not to be done in our church." It was his last tree.
Joe was trying to witness to a young man. None of the scriptures "took". The young man was a total unbeliever. "I know the problem," said Joe. "I'm trying to preach to a lamb, but you are a goat." The man took hold of the table between them and turned it over. "I saw him approaching me one day. He crossed the street to avoid me. But he never denied being a goat."
Joe was controversial. "Preach 'em in, preach 'em out, was his motto. He gave sermons on the birth of Jesus. "In July or August, usually," he told me. He avoided Christmas that way.
His doctrines of election and predestination were strictly from the Bible. Maybe that is why his church was so small. Visiting the church of a friend, he saw about forty folding chairs. "You're not going liberal on me, are you?" They both laughed.