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Posts Tagged ‘error’

In research, and reading, I’ve discovered a lot of attack going on (some resolved) in blogworld.  So, as Christians, how are we to handle our blogs and what we say in defense of the faith?  I must admit, I probably could have thought about this BEFORE I started my personal blogging life in 2001.  I try to keep most situations anonymous when it comes to people I have actually met. I must be careful in how I handle disagreements with pastors I personally know.   I do believe I’ve assessed situations correctly, but admit that it’s often easy to misunderstand someone’s intent, mishear a statement, or someone may have misspoke and would never mean what was heard.  So, some things I’ve written here about my pastors at my old church have been kept anonymous because I would hate for people to leave the church because I said something misrepresenting them in some way.   So, as to blogs, I think putting a name to a critique is dangerous and must be carefully handled.  If I put a name on here (of someone I know personally) you will know I really believe the person is doing such terrible damage to the body of Christ, they need to be revealed.  (This means in recent days…early on I may have put a name out there but I hope not).

As to bigger public figures like Hybels, Bell, Warren, and the like…I say we can critique their books, their sermons, their writings openly online.  I know none of these people (or other published writers/publically known pastors I’ve written of here).  I do not intend to judge whether or not they know Christ from their actions unless something becomes public.  I will judge, however, if their writings/sermons are in line with what I see in scripture or if they are in line with falsehood or some other religious practice.  The tricky thing these days is the lies are subtle.  I often wonder if the person preaching them is not even remotely aware of the lie.  They actually believe it based on the fact that they love the person they learned it from. 

It’s very tangly out here, in blogland.  Who do you believe out here?  It’s important to consider this.  I am still sifting through what I believe about the ministries I’ve been questioning.  I began questioning these ministries when I didn’t like the effect they had in my church.  I later found critiques online in other ministries.  I believed some of those, and now have to continually see if I believe them also.  It can be very confusing.  Even if the critiques are correct in pointing out false doctrine, I worry when I see labels and namecalling…though I also am tempted and have created labels of my own for some groups.  Is it okay, to label.  People were called a “brood of vipers” and other choice phrases in the Bible, only of course, after they proved themselves to be against Christ. 

What I see in blogland, to be honest, is a lot of anger toward the dumbing down of Christianity, the replacement of Christian doctrine with immitation, and the shift of many churches to follow some prominent pastors’ plans for the church.  There is an anger because there are those who claim to be following Christ on a spiritual journey who are not Christians (and wouldn’t use that term anyway) and who deny basic doctrine such as the return of Christ physically or of hell in the afterlife.  It’s not an anger toward a different religion altogether, but an anger toward people who have gotten notice as insiders who are shifting the church in one direction or another away from biblical doctrine.  There is also an anger toward the plans and visions of man that some are claiming are from God.  Speaking out against this is fine.  What is hard, is knowing if the names applied are accurate. 

Those who critique or who watch and warn need to spend time in careful thought as they are writing.  I need to learn this.  Think, is what you are writing true?  Is what you are writing clear?  If you don’t have clear evidence, do you word things in such a way so your readers know you are speculating at the moment?  I hope to learn properly how to make accurate charges, how to make clear when I am speculating and when I am pointing out another’s error. 

This is overwhelming to me sometimes.  I just began this to record my experience in my church.  I never intended to read what I’ve read, to have to let go of so much man has written, and to see what I see now.  I always feel I need to recheck myself to see if what I’m believing is true.

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Our church has planted several churches, a few in our local area and some overseas.  I have noticed that some of the people leaving our church just go to one of the church plants.  We attended one of them yesterday partially because we were running late and it is closer to our home.  It’s also that our church often doesn’t have children’s classes on Sunday when there is a holiday weekend.  The children complain when they don’t get to see their friends. 

I have to admit, the sermon was much more biblical and I felt the truth being preached.  It was over the armor of God, and only in a few places did I think I might want to recheck as there was a stretch.  One example was that the shield used in the times this was written were meant to be used corporately to create a sort of “wall” and so you need the community when fighting the devil, you don’t do it alone.  I really believe you can fight alone depending on if that’s God’s will…of course you have God.  In fact, like David used the sling and had God with him, he didn’t need corporate church to help.  Anyway, this was the one area otherwise, I felt it was very instructive and I felt fed.

The children said they understood what they learned in Sunday School, and it had been a long time since they understood the biblical point at our regular church.  That to me is sad.  They said, “well, it’s because they read straight from the bible instead of showing us those videos like they do at our church.”  They are even saying they’d like to go to this church instead if it wasn’t for their best friends who attend our church.  Huh.

The only problem with attending this church is that if the error in our church is as bad as I think it is, this local church plant is still impacted by it’s mother church.  The pastors from our church speak there often.  They also have a “catch phrase” that suggests contemplative as “Centered” is one of the main words.  Right now, it appears they mean “life Centered on Christ” and not contemplative, but still.  Also, in a previous post I wrote about YF camp.  This church mentioned a YF camp upcoming, so all the associations emergent and new age, though it’s a long line, are in this church as well. 

I also began by email to ask about another of our church plants since some members have left our church with their concerns but went to this new church plant.  I wrote asking if they had used “Purpose Driven” materials.  The woman I wrote accidentally forwarded the email because she used the CC to pull up the pastor’s address to give to me.  We may well find out the associations between church plant pastors.  If we are questioned in our own church, we’ll know they communicate and we can avoid this newer church plant.  For our friends, it’s my hope that the newer plants aren’t following their “mother.”

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Every time we have a campaign in our church to go through another book, each person in the small groups buys a book.  If we cannot afford a book, someone else will buy it for us.  Most of these campaigns are for the teaching impaired, and therefore, there has to be a DVD purchased for each small group.  I guess tithes pay for this?  There are often slick ad campaigns before a series in which the entire church will follow the same theme.  There might be postcards mailed out, which can be mailed for free but still cost money to purchase from the organization selling them.  There might be posters in church ahead of time, again, there is a fee for such things.  Besides our church wide campaigns and books, there are many small group study books on just about any topic.  Some again are “DVD” driven.  At different times during the year our church has speakers who promote their books or music CD’s.  These speakers, I’m learning through my searches, are tied in with contemplative prayer or other topics of concern to me.  They do not speak for free, they are paid with funds taken from our offering.  And then there are the conferences, training sessions, and seminars.  Nothing is free, and if you get a “scholarship” that money comes from the general fund.  Oh, and the missions trips!  That’s right, how could those be linked in any way to an agenda for emergent church?  Well, in my reading and searching I found various links to a local emergent church and youth program/camp.  This camp I’ll call YF has several missions destination sites they are in charge of.  So, we often pay to send kids on missions trips through YF, and also send kids to the local YF camps around our area.  This YF camp is run by a man who is on the board and I think, from what I have read, helps pastor the local emergent church.  (This church has Brian McLaren speak, and is currently having Pagit and his roadshow come to their “church basement”).  So, our church funds all these missions trips, our youth goes by droves to several locations all affiliated with YF, we also have kids going to YF camps.  Our money goes to this emergent church through YF.  Essentially, many books we buy, speakers we fund, trips that are taken, and even our children’s curriculums are supporting emerging trendy churches or seeker friendly large megachurches, or publishing houses that are “in the back pocket” of these emergent/seeker friendly church leaders (or is it the leaders are in the back pocket of the publishing companies, not sure).  All this money, and we church members are paying it.  If you don’t like the direction of YOUR pupose driven, willow creek small grouping, emergent contemplative praying, Harp and Bowling, transformational, missional, spritual formating church, you need to quit buying the books, paying for the conferences, and you need to pay your tithe to God elsewhere.  Of course, you can always do what they are waiting for the challengers to do anyway and speak with your feet!

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