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Archive for January, 2009

As I read about market crashes and planned craziness with the upcoming change from one president to the next, I am remembering that God is in control. He has a plan, He will allow what He will allow. It’s tempting to begin to fear, to become frightened by what will happen to Christians everywhere. It’s tempting to fear the loss of income, the oppression, the blatant in your face lewdness even beyond what we know now. It’s especially easy to become afraid for my children and for their future. I personally sometimes dwell on the thoughts of what it would be like to suffer persecution (real persecution and not this little bit of annoyance I’ve experienced before) with several children in tow including a nursling. Fear may seem justified, but when I begin to entertain fright, I know where to run. When in doubt, I choose faith. When I fear, I choose God’s strength and His shelter. No matter what happens, He is. I can rest in Him. Truthfully, I know that even when I might think I’m choosing, I’m not choosing, the Lord has mercifully given me the faith and the strength. He is protecting me. I believe He has brought to my mind the recall that we are not to worry about what we shall eat, what we shall wear. He will provide. If we are to be truly persecuted, He will even provide the words for us to say.

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The last Sunday we attended our former church the “missional pastor” spoke. He’s the one we quoted in the letter, he’s the one who quoted emergent authors with no warnings. It’s been several months, and he has been out of the country being missions oriented. The church was also having a campaign to raise money, and also had special Christmas messages. So, when I saw he spoke, I really wanted to see what was up. Interesting, he had no more footnotes, no more citing authors. If you want to know his influences you have to ask (hoping he’d be honest) or try to figure it out for yourself somehow.

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Christians are struggling out there.  Some are figuring out that their church is heading into the emergent church, or is following after Warren’s plans.  Some are being hurt for standing up in their churches and speaking out.  They are breaking away, and trying to find a place to worship and fellowship.  Some do find churches where they fit, churches where the pastor is preaching the gospel and is challening it’s members with the Bible.  Some are finding places where their children can grow.  Still others are heading into churches that will be the same church they left a few years down the line.  I see people who figured out our former church has real problems, but they don’t get the whole picture.  They go right into another church that is doing the same things at an earlier stage.  Some also have decided to give up on church.   I understand where they are.  It’s easy to give up completely.  I have thought about doing that myself.  People have let us down, leaders have taught wrongly.  We cannot trust ourselves to have proper discernment, after all, we’ve been fooled…some for years.  I can understand it, but I cannot do it.  It’s too important to meet together.  I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and led my family out of our former church.  He will lead us to the right church.  We just have to have faith.

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We visited a family for a New Year’s party, and saw many people from our former church. The friends still attend, and know our stance, and don’t agree with us but want to remain friends. They have chosen NOT to cut us out and in fact have gone a long way to keep us in their lives. They run a float trip/camp in the summer and we have helped with this camp. Our kids are friends also. Of course, because they attend our former chruch the house was full of people from our former church. When the door was opened, the first people we saw were our former pastor and wife. It wasn’t the lead pastor, but it was the one who had been frequently quoting emergent and contemplatives in his sermons. They were actually on their way out as we were coming in, but I had intended to speak with them in a kind way. I am sure they would have been kind to us if given the time to do so. We also found out another couple left, we don’t know for sure why. It was awkward when I was speaking to three women, and one asked if we would come back ever. I said, “no.” I waited, and she said, “I am not going to ask why…don’t you hate it when people are always asking why you left?” I didn’t say anything as the woman beside her had left, and she was open as to why. I didn’t really pick at it at all. A the third woman said, “some people break ties with all friends from the former church and I think that is very immature, very!” I wish I could have said something, but was trying to be discreet for the moment knowing I could easily get worked into a very frustrating moment. I wanted to say, “it’s immature to break ties if it’s for spite, but sometimes the ties are broken for you.” I know that the lead pastor is not a man I would engage in conversation with more than a polite hello. He basically called us evil, and probably sees us as liars. The tie is cut because we stood up.

What would I have said to the pastor and his wife who we ran into at the party? I would have said, “we really love you and we miss you.” That’s really it.

We did enjoy seeing the music pastor and wife who just had their baby. I felt the privilage to see their newborn was a treat we may not deserve. That pastor was the one who encouraged us to tell the staff why we left, and read our letter before we submitted it. He wanted us to make sure our letter was strong on what we saw. He still remains in the church holding out hope for God to be glorified there. He has been working so hard. He made it clear he’s not seeing himself as some warrior there, so I think he goes as far as we did in terms of seeing the danger of spiritual formation. He may not yet be completely aware of the danger there. He clearly was aware though of the problem with emergent theology seeping in, and also seemed to understand the concept of man centered vs. Christ centered church. We pray for him and his family often. Hopefully, he will be able to do what is right in this situation. He sure has kept a cool head about him.

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