Sunday, December 04, 2005

Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Bloggage in the World And the Way in Which It Ought To Be Acknowledged and Promoted Humbled Offered to the Public In a Treatise on That Subject.

Okay, so that was blatent plagerism of Jonathan Edwards, but forgive me. It's five ten in the morning and I'm just about to run into work (10 miles) to keep fit. So I'm feeling a bit crazy. There's so little time and so much exciting stuff to consider in the blogging world at the moment.

My "innocent" little observance on SGM's C J Mahaney and his visit to "Tortilla Lady" MacArthur's church seemed to have stirred up a whirlwind of a discussion mainly between Anonymous and a nice lady (Jul) who I like who is church planting in Canada. There are some very interesting thoughts coming out ... particularly the title laid at Mahaney's feet (apparantly so the word goes by MacArthur himself) as a "charismatic apostle". That deserves some attention. Does the role of an apostle exist today? If so what is it? Does Mahaney himself accept that title? Does he (most importantly in my mind) fulfill it? The patient reader of my blog may guess and pre-prophecy (oops sorry if you're a cessationist friend) ... pre-predict some of my thoughts on that particular point.

Even more interestingly Anonymous made some fascinating comments about SGM's use and thoughts on the Cross. This especially needs some careful thought and consideration because it is their absolute focal point (well apart from C J Mahaney himself). If their use of the Cross and views on it are faulty then we may pre-suppose that the whole movement or denomination is faulty. So that needs some thought and attention.

Some may ask who am I to give attention to these things and why is it any of my business particularly as I have left SGM, don't regret leaving, and have no intention of returning to their fold. Well unfortunately the majority of my family are with them still. And I adore and fiercly protect each and everyone of my family above all things. You hurt one member of my family and you hurt me. So I have a vested interest until they see the light and come to Newfrontiers ... heh. Heh. Okay I'm being flippant now.

The next topic is the fascinating exchange between myself and Mark Heath (http://www.wordandspirit.co.uk) concerning the "Open But Cautious" situation. He believes that to be "Open but Discerning" (yep, the definitions have changed again) has a "biblical mandate"; http://www.wordandspirit.co.uk/blog/index.php?/archives/137-Open-but-Cautious.html - and I would have to agree. We cannot throw caution to the wind and dance wildly in the aisles with our inflatable bananas waving in the breeze of the latest fad. (Why bananas? Well apparantly some were used in the Grapevine Bible Week held up in Lincoln many years ago. Interesting.) I am still concerned that the focus is too much on the gifts of the Spirit (see my comment at the end of Mark's blog entry) and our unity can be found around the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit and His divine movement in the church today.

So that is a brief lay-out of where we are at, at the moment. But its time for me to limber up and start running. Hopefully it'll be quiet at work and I can get writing on some of these things.

Let me close with a great quote from Terry Virgo that I found in my new study book (http://lukewood.blogspot.com/2005/11/shameless-plug.html). It's about being "Berean-like". And as an aside its worth reading Mark Heath's view on whether the Bereans were that great ... an interesting view from the other side! http://www.wordandspirit.co.uk/theology/noble_bereans.pdf

Back to Terry:

"The Bereans were not prejudiced. They didn't prejudge Paul's message and dismiss it before hearing it, as many do today, fearing a challenge to their comfort and security. Their open-mindedness opened the door for them to the possibility of discovery, revelation and encounter with the Living God.

On the other hand the Bereans were not gullible either. They didn't immediately accept Paul's teaching without question, falling in with the latest idea to hit town. Nor did they follow Gamaliel's cautionary advice to simply 'Leave these men alone!' ... Instead they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11)

May God keep us as He kept the Bereans from cold-hearted prejudice on the one hand and naive unquestioning acceptance on the other".

Well hey Mark!! It looks like Terry and the Bereans are "Open but Discerning" too!!

4 comments:

Mark Heath said...

Good stuff again Dan, and I totally agree that the unity is found around the "Power and Presence" of the Holy Spirit. I hope to redress the balance somewhat in future posts, as I myself am not a big fan of the charismatic preoccupation with just two of the Holy Spirit's gifts.

jul said...

I think we need to eagerly desire all of the gifts because we are told to in Scripture. However, the problem I see in my own life and in too many churches is the tendency to forget who the Holy Spirit really is--He's God! We act like he's some sideshow at the circus and not the main attraction, we can do well enough with or without him. My husband and are have been discussing the role of the Holy Spirit lately, especially as he relates to the whole picture of the gospel. Someone recently unwittingly told him "the gospel is the center of the wheel, and the Holy Spirit is a spoke on the wheel like evangelism, prophecy, ect... This I'm sure deeply grieved the Holy Spirit and made me feel both sick and concerned. As we meet with our pastors I will probably ask specifically who they believe the Holy Spirit is and how important is He in the chuch and in our personal lives. If anything remotely similar the this 'spoke on the wheel" thing comes up, I don't think I could remain with this church. Maybe I'm overreacting, but this is what I'm thinking at the moment. I feel the same way about people calling Him, God the Spirit, "it". Ahhhhh! Don't say that!!!

By the way, the charismatic church I'm with are on the other end of focusing on the so-called 'non-spectacular' gifts without teaching on any of the more obviously 'supernatural' gifts. They are all supernatural and should be all joyfully sought after and received in order to do the work of God's kingdom in the world. But I agree that we are in more desperate need of teaching and relationship with the Holy Spririt Himself. We are always talking about what he does without knowing who he is, or that's what it seems like to me.

Baxter's Boy said...

Wow ... that comment "The Holy Spirit is just a spoke on the wheel of the gospel" chilled me to the core.

The trouble is I can imagine it being said - with good motives of course. He IS God and He IS being marginalised ... again ... through fear of excess I believe.

I really identify too with the dividing of non-spectacular and spectacular. If they're from God, they are a supernatural intervention of Him into our lives!!

I have the utmost respect for you guys standing up for your beliefs and may the Spirit pour a flood of blessing upon you for honouring Him!

jul said...

Thanks for all your encouragement. I'll keep you posted on how everything goes.