Monday, August 28, 2006

A Few Bank Holiday Reflections ...

I thought I'd use the general bank holiday quietness to wander around the blogs, gather thoughts and have a think about what area of Ern Baxter's ministry to next embark upon (while of course continuing my project on the "King and His Army"). So what's caught my eye?

There are two excellent posts at the Jonathan Edwards Center blog - the first is a videoblog concerning the interest surrounding the release of the Edwards "Blank Bible". It's only about six minutes and contains some very interesting information for those of us who can't wait to get their hands on the volume!

The second is a free PDF download of some 14 pages of a sample from the "Blank Bible" - Jonathan Edwards notes on Galatians. Again an amazing insight into the richness of the man and his relationship with the Word of God.

If anyone thinks that Luke Wood has gone quiet on his blog, then think again! He's started up a new project called "NewGen Books" with an accompanying blog. It is essentially an online Christian bookshop with reviews, and profiles of the various authors. I find this incredibly encouraging because it demonstrates to me that not all charismatics are "Charismatic Headcases" and some of us do take the Word of God seriously and desire to know more of it in our ongoing life in the Spirit.

Scotty takes a plunge into the world of reviewing and begins with a favourite album of us both - Lou Fellingham's beautiful debut - "Treasure". He reviews each song individually and gives a great insight for those who might be tempted by the singer with a voice of an angel!

There are now four prophecies transcribed on my "Spirit of God!" website from Together on a Mission 2006! Terry Virgo, Ginny Burgin, John Groves and Terry Virgo again. They all greatly impacted me at the conference. All are deeply rooted in the Word of God yet are so stirring and truly will be prophecies "by which we fight the good fight".

And finally just a thought on an evangelical shibboleth - the use of the term "Saviour" for the Lord Jesus Christ. Many do it. But is it actually the best term to use? I remember once at my home church, my pastor Dr Stanley Jebb got people to stand up after his sermon and confess Jesus Christ as "Lord". One lady got slightly caught up in the emotion of the moment and said, "Jesus Christ is my Saviour". Dr Jebb stopped her and said, "Ah but is He your Lord?". I transcribed this today from Ern Baxter on the "King and His Army".

"You see we have preached Christ as Saviour for so long that we don’t realise that you can receive Christ as Saviour and not receive Him as Lord and then it’s questionable whether you have received Him at all. For any time the Bible speaks of Him as Saviour, it speaks of Him 29 times as Lord. The ratio is 29:1! And yet you go into evangelistic meetings and we urge people, won’t you please accept Christ as your Saviour – fiddlesticks! That’s not what it’s all about. The whole tendency is that Jesus will be your buddy – come just as you are with all your sin and He will give you a little card with your name on it and you will put it in your pocket next to your heart and then when you get up there, you will flick it out and say, “There St Peter, one night in a meeting I raised my hand and there’s my card”. That’s not what it’s all about. Paul says that salvation begins when you confess Jesus Christ as Lord".

I'm not saying this to be petty nor do I think was Dr Jebb. The point is our commitment to the Word of God and exactly how the Gospel transforms our lives. It doesn't end with salvation - although salvation is an ongoing process. But when we come through the waters of baptism, we enter into a life where Jesus Christ is the Lord of ALL our lives. Surely that is a step in the right direction away from being a charismatic headcase?!


Mark Heath said...

Superb post Dan. I liked the 'charismatic headcase' article. I also like your Ern quote on Jesus as Lord. It is the missing "kingdom" dimension of the Christian life, that the restorationists wanted to see restored. There is a King - and we have sworn life-long loyalty to him.

I still remember that sermon by Stanley. It made quite an impact. I remember the young people perhaps a little over-enthusiastically announcing "Jesus is my Lord" to everyone we met on our way home that evening!

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks Mark! Yes I found the 'Charismatic Headcase' article enjoyable and a challenge. I'm not sure it's our danger in the UK though at present though it's something to be aware of.

I can't quite remember when that sermon was by Stanley - I can't find it in my sermon notes! I felt overwhealmed by guilt that evening because I so wanted to stand up in church and announce it. I remember Stanley saying "If you confess Him as Lord, then He will confess you before His Father!" and I felt utterly panicked that He wouldn't confess me because I was too scared to stand up! Dad said I was almost hyperventilating sitting next to him! A powerful night.

James B said...

Well I perhaps didn't enjoy it as much as you two! I guess I felt a bit more "got at". But it's a good lesson for me in realising that we don't have to take everything personally and it's not a personal dig at the Holy Spirit! That being said, I really liked what your friend Jul wrote, Dan on the Edelen website. Her comment was bold and worthy of being repeated here!

She said:

"Where in the world have you been going to church? Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in a charismatic church ( but sure saw lots of other kinds of abuse in the churches I did grow up in), but I haven’t seen so much craziness in the charismatic circles I’ve been in since. Sure I’ve seen bad stuff, but is it any more reprehensible than quenching the Spirit? Or having a spirit of unbelief? Or legalism? Personally I’d rather be part of the church in Corinth than Galatia, but I refuse to make that kind of choice. I won’t settle for anything less than a valid experience of Biblical truth as far as I can understand it to be laid out in Scripture. Surely there are as many “fakes” in non-charismatic churches as in charismatic churches–perhaps we just prefer the quiet fakes who don’t cause much trouble until they pilfer money or leave their spouse for someone else over the ones who speak jibberish and try to push people over. I guess the first lot is more respectable somehow".

A good point! Corinth over Galatia? If we HAVE to choose?! After all Paul had some good stuff to say about Corinth even though he had to bring some correction, but he had nothing praise-worthy to say about the legalists at Galatia?!

Dan Edelen said...


Thank you for your links to my "charismatic headcase" post over at Cerulean Sanctum. I pray it blesses your readers.

Blessings on your blogging.

James B said...

Well I'm not sure "blesses" is the right word!! :) Should it!?

Baxter's Boy said...

I'm not usually one to speak up in favour of C J Mahaney but I listened to a sermon that Dave Bish noted on 1 Corinthians 12-14 and he was talking about life in the Spirit. He said that two things characterised life in the Spirit - sound doctrine and godly character. I'm not sure I would toe his uber-reformed line and limit it to those two but I did agree with the principle of marrying sound doctrine with the Spirit.

I was talking to my pastor friend Pete in London today about this. The verse "Do not be blown around by every wind of doctrine". The Spirit's often spoken of as wind, so there's a relationship there. Can we deny that revivals or great moves of God are tremendous winds that come and affect us? The question is - are we deeply rooted in sound doctrine that will provide a foundation for that move of God?

Or will the wind come and affect us and we get swept off our feet, and then when the wind passes we are not quite sure where we are? I'm sure that's not a strict sound exposition of that verse, but I hope my meaning is clear!

I think what I'm trying to say is that if we can pay attention to sound doctrine seriously - to studying the Word - to arming ourselves with it then I think it will bless us. Maybe that's what Edelen means.

JAmes B said...

Yes that's fair enough - I can accept that. It's odd isn't it. I feel all defensive about the word "sound doctrine". I guess I tend to associate it all too often with what Doctor Martyn Lloyd called "dead orthodoxy". Yet actually as ern Baxter reminds us - we don't have to be defensive of sound doctrine because all the aspects of life in the Spirit that we love and enjoy and delight in are written in the Word of God!! Church life - Kingdom life - it's all there!! Sound doctrine actually sets us free!! And sets the tone - the standard to which I don't think charismatic churches in the UK have got anywhere near!! After all - who last saw a raising from the dead?