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Archive for September, 2008

We have maintained contact with one pastor from our old church as he is very concerned with the changes and the emergent message.  He did email today and shared that the lead pastor is planning in some way to address the issues with the emegent church.  This is good news, but I fear it may not go far enough.  I hope that the church recognizes the influence of Dallas Willard and others (Beth Moore, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren) is part of the problem.  There is a disconnect with the “emerging” side, not realizing they are headed in the same direction.  Emergent have just gotten further down the path.  Maybe we should meet with this lead  pastor, at least to point to the truth and to his responsibility to adhere to it and preach it.  He cannot make the elders change their votes and change the system, but he can preach the truth even if it risks his job. 

On another note, we were called last night by an elder asking if we knew why people left (there are others, of course).  Specifically, it was asked if changing the children’s midweek program was the issue, which it wasn’t by itself.  He also asked about another couple’s reasons for leaving, which I felt was not entirely appropriate because we may know what we’ve been told, but should we be sharing?  In general is one thing, but a specific couple is another altogether.  It’s starting to sound like they at least notice the numbers headed for the door and want to fix this problem.  However, if they have been following the Warrenite system, they will expect this loss of people and will be proud of themselves for getting through this rough time.  We shall see in a few years how they’ve handled it…and if they’ve changed or not.  My husband is not at all interested in going back.

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“Great is our Lord and mighty in power…”  is from Psalm 147:5.  This is a verse my five year old is learning through the Awana program.  My older children have all gone through this program, and have had to learn each verse for the Sparks code.  P is for power, and this verse fits.  However, is it a dumbing down, though the verse does speak of God’s mighty power? 

Here’s the “old” verse for P.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16. 

I have this version memorized due to the times I worked with them on the verse and listened to the music.  What I notice about this little change (the rest of the code is the same) is that it speaks of the gospel.  This gospel of Christ is His good news, and taking this verse out certainly seems odd.  I realize it’s a longer verse, and they’re trying to make the verses easier.  Sadly, in making things easier, we’re missing out on some of the message they were getting.  In fact, it’s quite frustrating to me.  Our kids did struggle because I am so busy I don’t work with the younger ones as much as I did, however, even getting what we did (which was all of the verses in SPARKS…but not always all the activities), I found it to be a great way to get the Word in.  I hope my little ones don’t miss out on John 1:1-4 and Psalm 23.  I will just have to pull out the old Sparks tapes. 

I have been working harder to read the Bible out loud in my home.  We read Proverbs during the school day, since there are 31 we can have one chapter each day of the month.  I want to read through many books.  My struggle is the older/younger combination.  We were given an easier version of the NIV, but I am so uncomfortable with it and find it dissatisfying to read.  My oldest actually likes the KJV, but the younger ones are so lost listening to that.  I generally read NASB or NIV.  Not sure what version is best for the family.  I want to keep the Word of God in our daily life.  I also want to teach it correctly so that when they hear error, they will know it.

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I just read an article on the Lighthouse Trails Research page (look at my blog roll and you can find a link to that page for interesting reading all around).  It mentions that everyone is talking about “the silence” or “be still.”  I’ve noted that the youth organization in our area has ignatius prayer links to teach meditative silent prayer (with breathing exercises and the like).  The article on the Lighthouse Trails site is so good, I’m encouraging people to read it and see how “Christian” authors are actually in parallel with New Age authors.  When groups line up so well, this shows a similar influence is possible…and in fact, because many of the “Christian” authors influencing our churches today quote some of the New Age authors, even some Buddist or Hindu authors…we can be sure the influence is the same.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1209&c=1

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One thing I notice, I spend way too much space on my own thoughts.  Ironic, this post is my own also, but I hope to get my focus back on Christ.  Notice, I don’t quote scripture a lot.  I don’t want to misquote for sure, but once I have checked that out, the lack of quoting comes from my poor study of the word of God.  I must get my self back into the Bible.

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Came across this little site when looking up information on Dallas Willard. The local youth camp organization my old church is very involved in(at least three I know of are on staff at the youth camp, and I’m sure there are MANY more) is a location listed as a training place for this organization…or whatever it is.  On the board are Brian McClaren and Dallas Willard.  Going through the videos shows how far this thing is reaching into the seminary community at Christian colleges.  Note on this link the little clip they play reveals they want to go back to the “Hebrew and the Greek” through Missional eyes.  Everything must be interpreted through the Missional filter.  These people are teaching the people our children and children’s children will be listening to in church.  The battle is going to be VERY long fought here.  One little family speaking out in our church will do nothing to stop this Missional movement.  The only hope is that God will use what we have done, and those we have educated can get out while the “getting is good.”  Pray, people, pray.  At first I thought it might be paranoid to say we are in grave danger here, those of us who are Christians.  Now, I believe differently.  Anyone take history courses dealing with exactly how Hitler was able to become Germany’s leader?   Even as I write this, I want to take it back.  Paranoid?  Hmmmm….

Impacting how we look at the Greek and Hebrew with this Missional thing?  Worse than Jehovah’s Witnesses rewriting the Bible in English.  Teaching leaders how to look at everything through Missional glasses, and you then don’t have to rewrite anything.  And the intellectuals say, “give me the fork so I can eat this up!” Makes me sick.  Be careful though, it’s subtle.  Notice the code words in many videos on this site.  story, narrative, journey, shift, change, post-modernity, community

Can you find any more?

http://www.allelon.org/history.cfm

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We are seeing signs of stress in our home.  My oldest is not doing well in school.  There’s a lot more whining from the younger ones, a lot of comments about missing friends.  Changing churches is a pain, but better this than what we saw coming…

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Response

Recieved and email response from our pastor from the old church.  He wants a face to face…doesn’t see what we’re talking about.  Told a couple we know that the pastor wishes to meet.  The wife laughed outloud (she’s such a meek, kind woman…so this shocked me).  She said, “we’ll be praying for you on that.”  She then said that this pastor is intimidating in a face to face.  I will not publish his letter here, but I feel the tone is one of challenge.  He may not see it, we’ll give him that wiggle room.  He didn’t deny the problems completely in his response, just seems he thinks he’s not  part of the problem.  Even if he preached all of his sermons from the Bible, I think he, being the lead pastor, is responsible.  Our old church is elder controlled and yet the pastors teach and so the pastors are, in my view, responsible.  After all, they endorse books, encourage the way people study, and have a big impact on the thinking of people in the week.  They are recognized as an authority even if they want to deny they have power.  He should be speaking against things, if he cannot change the church through vote power and eldership power, he sure can preach the truth and preach against the wrong things going on.  Why hasn’t he done this?  I believe it’s because he’s in it…but then again, if he really doesn’t know what he’s part of is wrong, he could possibly be opened up to the actual truth. 

Pray, pray, pray.  I will be praying also.  I hope for something good to come from all this mess…but Gods will be done.  God tends to use messes for good even when we cannot see it ourselves.

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Read any Dallas Willard?  Spirit of Disciplines?  Renovation of the Heart?  What do you know, what do you think?

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My letter received so far only one response of the three pastors.  An email came today seeking small group materials that are still out, we probably do have them somewhere.  The email was addressed to the other couple in our group and to us, both leaving church.  It was the “we’ll miss you and they’ll be blessed for you” kind of message.  Light, easy, and not addressing the issues at all.  The other couple didn’t have quite the same problems, so the email had to be generic.  Though I knew this would have to be the response, it still hurts.  I’m sure our note is just one of the expected complaints they will get for changing the church over to a “missional” church.   One of my friends says since we made it clear we are leaving anyway, they appropriately responded.  It just feels like they should do more.  But then again, why?  They know they aren’t planning to change.

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Prayer

A friend of ours knows exactly what we are going through and how hard it has been and is for us to be transitioning out of our old church.  She sent along what she is praying about for us as well as a few scriptures…

 

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.”  Psalm 138: 7-8

 Romans 3:3:
“What if some were unfaithful?  Would their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?  By no means!  Let God be true though everyone were a liar.”

Glad to have someone praying and focusing on God’s word and not the muck.

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