The Pastor Theologian

The first disciples of Jeshua, the Christ, were, except Luke, no scholars. It was only after Jeshua had died and was risen that an other scholar joined the disciples and became known as the great apostle Paul.

The early members of the ecclesiae of the followers of Jesus were a mix of all sorts of professions, where everybody became a partaker of the group, taking up different roles. They did not go to universities to have their degree in theology and did not have a training in the synagogues to become a priest in the ecclesia.

They were people united in the body of Christ, humbling themselves to be a worker for Christ and for God, not aiming to be the Leader, because they knew very well who had to be the leader, namely Jesus Christ should be the cornerstone of the community.

It is very nice to hear that

“At the end of the day theology is not about having more head knowledge or even about pursuing more academic degrees. It’s about getting to know the God of the Scriptures who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. And when he is made much of – that is, when he is encountered and known, the real work of ministry is done in our hearts, our communities, and the world!”

Though it is a pity that so many theologians have become blinded by human doctrines that they do not see the biblical truth any more.

*

To remember

  • pastor = CEO or “leader” dominating conference scene
  • two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley + Craig Groeschel = god-like on stage + every ear attune to their words of wisdom
  • wondering if we’ve pushed focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology
  • Gerald Hiestand + Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision, think this may be the case.
  • great chasm between study of theology and the Church
  • office of pastor + theologian not always separate
  • birth of university => divide => best + brightest minds pursued work in the academy+ those gifted with people skills became pastors in the local Church
  • Church could use some more theology while the academy could use some more pastoral wisdom.
  • all ministry leaders should prioritize study of God
  • to keep a close watch over own life and doctrine (teaching)(1 Timothy 4:16)
  • guard against false doctrine if unable to identify it
  • health of the Church + the making of disciples = both reliant on sound teaching.

+

Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

++

Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

+++

Praxis

Thepastortheologian

We live in an age where the pastor as CEO or the pastor as “leader” dominates the conference scene. I remember attending a Catalyst One Day Conference in Chicago several years ago. One day packed full of vision casting, leadership tips, and inspirational quotes from two of the Church’s finest leaders – Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. I was mesmerized. They were god-like on stage and every ear was attune to their words of wisdom. I took copious notes and made it a priority to implement as much as I could into the college ministry I was leading at the time. It goes without saying that much of what leadership literature and media have to offer is valuable and necessary.

I’m just wondering if we’ve pushed the focus on leadership too far to the neglect of the study of theology. Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson in their book, The Pastor…

View original post 516 more words

Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

It may be said that Christians seem to fail there where Muslims succeed. In Belgium we could see the Muslim community grow enormously in the last decade. Though we do not see so many preachers on the streets. In certain quarters the Islamic preachers are very actively on the street or in the parks, but in others you can’t see them. It seems a lot of youngsters do find their Islamic teaching on the net but do not find it countered by Christian teachers. Those who do have an idea that there could possibly be one God to be worshipped mostly can find Catholic and evangelical groups teaching trinitarian doctrine. Jehovah Witnesses go from door to door but most people are so much afraid of the groups and of the name Jehovah they really do not want to listen to them or to take some study material from them.

English: took it myself to illustrate open-air...

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people in several western countries stopped listening to the pastors, priests, bishops and those who say they are ‘men of God’ because they saw what happened in the many churches were priest and nuns used young children to please themselves. Lots of people saw that many preachers who did use lots of words to frighten the people, did not bother to do those things they told their flock not to de because they would end up in hell, a place of torment and eternal suffering. In many denomination the pastors or priests make use of the comparatively easiness to convince a man of his sin and then to frighten him for the consequences of that sin.

Guilt is a majority of our spiritual make up.  And it is the substance that leaks out into our fleshly day. {The necessity of the Gospel}

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a guilty conscience many became bewildered, looking for real justifying answers. But the priests or pastors could not deliver them. By that “awakening” of getting conscious he had to do something against his sins, man becomes aware of a need to cleanse himself.  Some might than think

by that means, it is also comparatively easy to convince a man that Jesus is a necessary aspect of this cleansing.

but it does not seem to be so easy and it can not be brought over by staying in the church-walls. The preacher has to get out of those walls and come into the open to tell others what for possibilities there are and how Jesus can be found and is there for all of those who are willing to accept his ransom offer.

We read and hear of people saying that they need the Lord all day long.  Just a cursory look into the Christian announcement by His people will provide a rather overwhelming view of our sense of need.  And how can that be a fault?  All men know of their guilt.  It is a natural outcome that others should hear us speaking of our need for the Lord’s blood in decimating our sins. {The necessity of the Gospel}

Though people want to feel that they are helped and guided. The clerical people demanding from the ordinary human person to become holy, having to keep to all sorts of difficult things, therefore got lots of people stopping to listen to the men of their church because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example.  As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”. {The Swinging Doors}

Many churches made Jesus into their god and did not want to accept it was a man of flesh and blood who really died for the sins of many. They taught their believers that no man is capable to follow all through God’s commandments; So why bother many say. Many people also came to see that such teaching of a man who was not a man but was a spirit, who in one place says he cannot be tempted and in another place in Scriptures it says he was been tempted by the devil, could not be a real good teaching but only a misleading teaching.  Lots lost faith in their church of the misleading doctrines and found more clarity in the Islam teaching. The big problem is they did never tried to look at other Christian religions who do keep to the biblical Truth. Not many took time to look at the different non-trinitarian groups, because they thought all Christians are the same and do think the same. They also got frightened to look at the other denominations because they were made frightened by their own church who always told them it were heretics and not Christians.

No one willing to come down

Those who left the dogmatic Christian groups, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, did not encounter on their path to other non-doctrinal Christians people who were confessing they only believed in Only One God. None of those non-trintiarians thought it necessary to come to them. Most of them who say they have the truth and are not a Jehovah Witness do not go away from their position in their church or ecclesia.

None will venture to ascend their hill.

They remain in their known group and are willing to give exhortations in their ecclesia, but to go out on the streets or to go to teach and preach somewhere else, not many wanted to do. so, those looking for God did not encounter people who wanted to tell them that in Christianity there may be found answers and may be found people willing to help to come closer to God.

In many of those non-trinitarian and trinitarian churches they are saying “God calls the people” which is true, but does not give you the right to sit on your ass and do nothing. Jesus was clear to his disciples and wanted all his followers to go out in the world to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. But in many churches the people in charge say we do have to be patient and the right people just shall come up to us. Is that so? Shall people be able to find you?

Given task

We should be prepared to bring honourable service and give ourselves into the Hands of God, offering ourselves as servants of Christ and servants of God. Faith without works is dead and true faith demands dedication to God’s sovereignty.
Preaching should be done across the entire world, every day and night regarding this subject, by those who believe in the things which are grounded in their heart. That what did not have enough opportunity to grow in the heart can not be shared. There has to be a willingness to hear others and to come to them to talk and share ideas with them. Ears have to be opened to the Word of God, but so few hear it.  So few accept it.  So few do it.   Why?

Because salvation from guilt and sin is a natural desire of the human mind.

says the writer of Words From There.

But the walk of Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves compelled to agree with the Father in Heaven. {The necessity of the Gospel}

this should bring people united under Christ in the understanding of  the necessity to live as the Lord Jesus lived.

Servants for God

 He became a servant, though He is the Son of God.  We too are called to become servants, though we are sons of the same God.

The big question is: How many do want to become a humble servant in the hands of God? How many are willing to follow up the task Jesus has given his disciples?

Understanding the true nature of God by observing phenomena on earth is like exclusively studying shadows to examine the Sun.  The resultant assumptions would most certainly fall short. {Thoughts from Isolation}While some people ponder the very existence of a God, His people ponder His promises. {Thoughts from Isolation}

Short time to stand at the side

There are too many questions to be answered, and time on earth is too short to get all the answers right. When we do have to find out everything on our own it (perhaps) will take a long time, but when we can find help in what others can show us from the Bible we can grow with each other and come to a better understanding sooner. It is easy to say

Why is there not even a hint of concern in the majority of people?

and do nothing. Standing at the side, staying in the close environment, the safe surrounding of the own ecclesia or church is easy. It is high time to come out of the ‘building’ and to go out in the  ‘wild nature’.

Messengers with wrong motives

Soon after Jesus his death it happened already that people made use of his name and his popularity. The apostle Paul noted already that there were some that preached Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. (Philippians 1:15-18) Many centuries later not much has changed. We still can find people who are more interested in their own good and their own name, instead of sharing the gospel with many for the matter of  Jesus his name. We shamefully notice that everywhere we can find people who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. But perhaps this should not bother us so much because whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this we should rejoice.

Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible wrote

What security in the gospel! Even if the messenger has wrong motives, the message remains unstoppable. This means that God has built into the gospel a self-correcting power for every abuse of the gospel at the hands of men. Men misused the Bible to promote slavery in Africa and America, yet the abolitionist movement came out of the church.

All of us should be thankful we are good in something. We all have been given a gift of God’s grace for the good of His people. As the least of the Lord’s people, Paul knew that these graces were not given based upon any personal merit, so stop disqualifying yourself to use the gift of grace that God has given you. God has created all things, including you and your capacity, and God wants us to focus upon him and use what he has freely given us. And each person who comes in Christ should also as a member of the body of Christ use his or her gifts to let that body grow.

Poisoned and mislead

Arthur W. Pink was aware that we should use the gifts we received more to proclaim the Word of God

those whose whole time and energies are to be devoted to seeking the spiritual and eternal welfare of souls, and the better equipping of themselves for that most blessed, solemn, and important work. Their principal tasks are to proclaim God’s Truth and to exemplify and commend their message by diligently endeavoring to practice what they preach, setting before their hearers a personal example of practical godliness. Since it be the Truth they are to preach, no pains must be spared in seeing to it that no error be intermingled therewith, that it is the pure milk of the Word they are giving forth. To preach error instead of Truth is not only grievously to dishonor God and His Word, but will mislead and poison the minds of the hearers or readers. {Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures}

Many people felt dishonoured and mislead by their common church. The Muslims seemed to honestly keep closer to the Word of God and kept more to their holy Scriptures, doing what was requested by them.

Governing bodies have taken over the Pauline churches which at early Christendom were free communities.

It is true that the early apostles held a council in order to examine more closely certain issues. Upon holding this council a letter was drawn up and sent to the Gentile churches. This letter gave basic rules of how to conduct oneself as a Christian. Paul later went back and wrote too many of these Gentile Christians and gave them a fuller explanation on what it meant to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian.  {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3}The reason men like Harold Camping can gather disciples around him are because people have remained silent. They fear persecution and do not want to live a life of being shunned or spoken evil against. I am not going to be unloving when I examine other ministers’ doctrines, but I also will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will not shun being persecuted by remaining silent concerning the truth of God’s word. Therefore I will not be silent concerning the doctrines of the ‘Teacher’ nor Otis Graves.

writes a a Reformed Baptist, from a Covenantal, Amillennial perspective in Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2. This while too many keep silent and do not dare to step on toes. But no congregation is free of the silent ones or of those who do not want to go out to those who do not belong to the community. This made that many in the city or at the countryside did not find it interesting enough to go to hear in the church-building what the preacher had to say. those who stayed at home and did their normal daily business did not find somebody on their path to work or to the shops who tried to convince them of the beauty of Jesus his ransom.

Unlearned men

‘Church’ wanted people to believe they could not understand the Bible, because they did not follow special university courses. In the past they had also told Luther that if the scriptures were translated into the common language of the people that a flood gate of sin would come out of it.

They told him that the church would begin to split and splinter into all kinds of different denominations. This is because that unlearned men will not take and interpret scripture according to the tradition of the Church. Luther responded by saying that he knew that if he put the scriptures in the hands of ignorant and unlearned men, that it would open a flood gate of iniquity, but nevertheless every person ought to have the scriptures to read for themselves. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

We may not forget that in the first century of this common era, like in the centuries before people did not get a university degree to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. The disciples of Christ got their training first hand from the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). They continued the same practice as Jesus to educate others in the teachings of Christ Jesus. They wrote down what they had learned so that others in places far away could use the writings as edifying material. We too have that educational material at hand in our own language. We can use the many Bible translations to receive the Biblical Wisdom. We should use it.

Right to read and to interpret

So the Reformation opened the door for private interpretation. But just because we have the right to interpret scripture privately does not mean that we have the right to distort scripture. The Reformers taught what is known as the perspicuity of scripture or that the scriptures are so plain that even a child could understand it. This doctrine does not teach that scripture is plain in every place, but it teaches that the doctrines that are essential to salvation are so clear that even a child could find his was to Christ by reading them. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

People need help in their interpretation and it are the elders and scholars who can and should help. In time the church has developed a science of interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics.’ This science and art of interpretation is our key which can keep us from falling into much error when we interpret scripture. Not everybody is been given the art of hermeneutics but those that have received it should use it and help others to come to a better understanding of what is written in the Bible.

While the Bible is filled with many types of literature it also uses many forms of speech within that literature. The Bible uses hyperbole, simile, symbolic, irony, sarcasm, metaphor, parallelism, synonymous parallelism, metonymy, personification, anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms, and many more. The Bible also uses types and shadows to convey its message. So without a properly working hermeneutic we all would misinterpret scripture all the time. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

But it are the communities and those in charge of the ‘churches’ who should take care their flock is trained to come to good Bible reading and good Bible interpretation. Every person in the ecclesia should try to come to a good Bible knowledge and should help others in reading and interpreting the Bible.

Not staying in own cocoon

As we go on, after we have been baptised, and grow in our faith, we do have to carry it with us and should share it with others. We cannot keep our faith to our own. We also may not stay in our little cocoon just staying safe with those we do know and with those whom we love. Out of love for the others, we should go out to reach them and to show them the Way.

Thomas Manton asked

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? {So much Preaching and so Little Practice – Thomas Manton}

but we wonder where all that preaching is. We can not see many Christians on the streets, in parks, in public buildings or in public transport, teaching the Word of God. It seems to stay in between closed doors.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

One of the great inspirers for many Christians and strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition: Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon

We do need constant thoughts which are operative so that musing makes the fire burn. {Thomas Manton} The British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers,”  Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon in his lifetime preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons are reprinted many times and are still going strong. He knew very well the importance to go out on the streets and to take sure educating thoughts would be spread amongst many. We should remember him who said

Preaching! Man’s Privilege and God’s Power!

A Privilege to be taken seriously

Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Mary, Thomas and their son Octavius Winslow, John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. and many more understood the need of reaching to the people, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. We should take them as an example and not limit ourselves to our own community, staying only at our own ecclesia.

For sure it might be easier just to preach for people who believe the same as we do. It is easier not be confronted with people who have other ideas and want to ask questions. It is easier to avoid such questions and keeping to a close group where one is sure they all believe the same and/or do not dare to question.

Like Aiden Tozer’s passion for a deeper knowledge of God led him to study the great devotional writers of the past, we should not hesitate to look at such works from the past but always should see them in the light of the Holy Scriptures, which constantly should be the main guide.

People wanting to know God

The move of many churchgoers to become mosque goers proves that there are enough people wanting to get to know God. You can wonder how they can get to know God when nobody wants to come to them and tell about God.

Prayer and worship were the hallmarks of many previous Bible teachers  their life. but they did not stay in their own little environment, their safe surrounding of their church. They stood up and went to those who did not yet belong to their church or even did not believe in a god or the God. Like them we should come forward and present our thoughts and our writings to people who are looking for God and perhaps not belong to any church, or did not find the Truth.

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

Our preaching as well as our writings should simply become an extension of our faith and prayer life.

In modern evangelicalism, contended Tozer, we work, we have our agendas–in fact, we have almost everything except the spirit of true worship. He defined worship as a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe, astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of the unspeakable Majesty. He reminded the pastors, “We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second; Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring souls God does His work. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.” {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Tozer called the doctrine of the Holy Spirit “buried dynamite”. Yet he always insisted that the Spirit and the Word operate in harmony. He exhorted the overzealous to a warm heart and a cool head:

“The history of revivals in the Church reveals how harmful the hot head can be….These are days of great religious turmoil. Let love burn on with increasing fervour, but bring every act to the quiet test of wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement than a well-controlled furnace, but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney.”

– Walter Unger {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

We should not aim for great fame and popularity as a preacher, but we should be well aware that we do have to come together, read and study the Bible with others, preach the gospel and make new believers.

In many church services other than those of the Christadelphians not much time is given or spend at the Word of God. God’s Word in Scripture, if ever used at all, comes in sporadic bursts of verses here and there, and in evangelical churches they are just parts of phrases being shouted out repetitive whilst most of the time entertaining songs sweep up the public. Very often bible texts are stripped of their intended meaning, stifling the work of the Spirit in His sacramental function of quickening the Word, and robbing the people of blessing. At other places the sermon or the exhortation has not much to do with the Bible fragments read.

Though time has to be spend to go deeper into the reading and to give some examples of how the Bible text relates to our daily life. That we need much more, so that people can see how the stories of the Bible still have relevance today. Further we also need more stories of influences of the Bible and faith to people in our society. The Lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters would love to bring such Bible and Faith related stories. But we need more people who can bring such stories and show people what it can do to have the Christian Faith.

You to can play your role

It is high time there shall come forward more Christian believers to proof to others they are not children of the bond-woman but of the free (Galatians 4:31) and to show the world which blessings come over those who are willing to accept Christ in their life.

When the early church went out into the world, armed with the truth through which alone true unity could be effected, they, as well as Paul, met with opposition. The had to conquer their fear for speaking in public. It took time but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with their trust in God they managed to spread the faith very well. We better take up their courage and start evangelizing like they did in the early days.

You too can do your share. For sure you too have something to tell; something that changed your life; something you feel inside, something you notice in the world; let it be known to others. We are willing to give you a platform where you can let your voice be heard so that your voice can put an other cobblestone on the big road to be made.

As time went on, however, the church no longer loved God enough to see, feel and talk about the wonders of the Divine Creator. Let those Works of God be better known. Open people their eyes and ears so that they can see and hear the beauty of nature, the Hand of God in our world. Show the world where there can be growth of true worship in the face of daunting challenges so that it can be faith-strengthening and inspiring to God’s people everywhere. Let the sun never sets on the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making. Remember the prophet Zechariah his words

 “who has despised the day of small things?” (Zecharia 4:10)

and do not hesitate to join the small group of enthusiast preachers.

Declaring Good News

Let us “declare good news” like Jesus demanded from his followers. Each of us can “bear news; announce; act as a news bearer.” (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:23)

Jesus recognized that his divine commission called for a preaching work, and he carried it on publicly, in cities and villages, in the temple area, synagogues, marketplaces and streets, as well as in the countryside. (Marcus 1:39; 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:26; John 18:20)
Do you want to go wherever you can entering into villages or cities or countryside or bring  your texts on the internet so that it can come in the homes of many people?

Jesus had stressed that he was ‘sent by God’ (Luke 9:48; John 5:36, 37; 6:38; 8:18, 26, 42), who gave him “a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak.” (John 12:49). The apostles who followed the directions of Christ knew that they publicly had to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that we have to exercise faith in our heart that God raised him up from the dead, so that we will be saved.

For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Like John the Baptist Jesus did more than preach. His teaching receives even greater emphasis than his preaching. Teaching (di·da′sko) differs from preaching in that the teacher does more than proclaim; he instructs, explains, shows things by argument, and offers proofs. The work of Jesus’ disciples, both before and after his death, was thus to be a combination of preaching and teaching.(Matthew 4:23; 11:1; 28:18-20).

The writings which we present as such shall have to bring preachings and teachings, sermons and exhortations, bringing examples that show how God is at work also today and is still calling everybody who is willing to hear His Voice.

We have to share our heartfelt feeling for Christ and for each other. We have to share like Christ did, our love for the Only One God and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ, but also our love for the whole creation (man, animals and plants). As this in the old times was shared by all disciples, men and women, we too should till “the conclusion of the system of things” proclaim the Good News and share our faith with others, bringing a call to the world to join us and to become a member of the Body of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts of the apostles 2:17; compare Acts 18:26; 21:9; Romans 16:3.)

18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority*+ has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples*+ of people of all the nations,+ baptizing+ them in* the name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the holy spirit,+20 teaching+ them to observe+ all the things I have commanded YOU.+ And, look! I am with YOU+ all the days until the conclusion* of the system of things.”*+ {Matthew 28:18-20 Reference Bible}

Let us make sure that on the basis of Jesus his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in all the nations and that you with us may be a witness of these things. Jesus was sending forth upon us that which is promised by his heavenly Father. We, though, have to follow the decree given by Jesus to be a pupil but also a teacher, a follower and a leader, always a servant, one for the people and one for God.

coming closer to the Last days we should be fully aware that Jesus said

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {Acts of the apostles 2:17 Reference Bbile}

Sharing and blessings for all

All sorts of men and women shall go out in those days, but we do not have to wait to the last moment be part of them. Today you can stand up and show your alertness and your vivid will to be part of that community which want to show others the way to God. You can start to speak boldly in your own surroundings and share your voice on this platform and on From Guestwriters. You can let people hear and see that they too can find a place where blessing are shared with love with all who want to come along and with all who want to celebrate the greatest love a person has ever given.

We have to show others that it is not sufficient just to take the posture of politely and respectfully listening, not doing much of anything else. Jesus wanted active followers, doers of the Word. Those who come to church or enter the ecclesia perhaps would (all) agree that they are there to learn and be challenged in the Word, but in actuality, they are very inactive in the learning process, very passive in the spiritual discipline, and very unengaged while the preacher is preaching. We have to show them that is not what is wanted form a member of Christianity, a follower of Christ. we have to stimulate them that they also get up and start showing the works of faith. doing our work not forgetting how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

All believers are still hold to the task of challenging the wider Church which is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be “Preachers”, “Teachers”, “Leaders” can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed and share with us too, how the Good News impacts, revitalises, renews, re-forms their and others lives, and how they impart their own wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.”

Let us take many into our company, showing the blessing we receive on daily basis, and expound the way of God more correctly to them.

May your time spent here be blessed.

Isn’t this what we are called to do?  We are to ascend to our place near the Lord.  From there we are commanded to proclaim regardless the response.  Can you count the number of us who have gone into the city?  How many of those tiny houses contain artifacts of man?   How did they get there?   The Lord did not put them there, nor did He have them delivered. {The Swinging Doors}

++

Find to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. Christianity without the Trinity
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible for you and for life
  8. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  9. The Most Reliable English Bible
  10. The Bible and names in it: Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has Ever Been
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  13. Reasons to come together
  14. Not many coming out with their community name
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  20. Not all ability to preach
  21. Breathing to teach
  22. Church sent into the world
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  25. Our openness to being approachable
  26. Words to push and pull
  27. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  28. How should we preach?
  29. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  30. Good or bad preacher
  31. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Holland Week of billing
  34. Asia Cahaya Conference focusing on preaching
  35. It is Today
  36. Belonging to or being judged by
  37. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  38. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  39. A Society pleading poverty
  40. Dealing with worries in our lives
  41. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  42. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  43. Risen With Him
  44. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Thoughts from Isolation
  2. To the stump
  3. Your Post
  4. The necessity of the Gospel
  5. Jehovah’s Message
  6. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  7. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  8. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2
  9. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3
  10. A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines
  11. Rev. Duncan Campbell Sermon – Action and Obedience
  12. Puritan Thomas Watson – Christian Joy!
  13. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  14. What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching?
  15. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  16. Preaching the Gospel in the Power of Signs and Wonders
  17. On Preaching “To the Men”
  18. The Primacy of Preaching
  19. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  20. How to Spread the Gospel
  21. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  22. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  23. Preaching is a two-way street
  24. What do you think about preaching someone else’s sermon?
  25. Sex, murder, and preaching: How much is too much for Sunday morning?
  26. Redemptive-Historical Preaching Vs. Moralistic Preaching in Sanctification
  27. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  28. Four Reasons You Should Go Easy On Yourself After Failure, Divorce or Abuse
  29. Preach It, Sister!
  30. What do you need…?
  31. The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ
  32. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings
  33. Proclaim Christ Thru Service to Others
  34. Cavite Hosts I-Proclaim! 3 on National Bible Week 2012
  35. Proclaim Jubilee: A Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century
  36. How to Proclaim Restoration

+++

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses descend on Melbourne in pictures (theguardian.com)
    A large sign across the turf at Etihad Stadium reads: ‘Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom’
  • Taking the plunge at Etihad Stadium into a life of faith serving Jehovah (smh.com.au)
    Cameron Dobber’s nerves had mostly settled by the time he took his place in the middle of Etihad Stadium in front of more than 65,000 people.The 27-year-old forklift driver from Sunshine had been preparing for this moment for more than four years.After months of Bible studies and a three-hour interview with church elders, it was finally his turn to step into the baptismal pool and become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.+

  • 19. Daily Bible Verse (12160.info)
    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
  • Watch: ’19 Kids & Preaching’ Video Highlights Duggar Family’s Christian Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    A new video called 19 Kids and Preaching shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
  • Preaching What God’s Word Says about the World (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    [T]he principle that the Christian minister is to preach only the Word of God most certainly does not forbid him to apply the teaching of Holy Writ to the specific needs of his hearers and the peculiar conditions of his day. Application, as well as explanation, is of the essence of preaching.
  • 970) Whether I know what preaching is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada! (pmdasa.wordpress.com)
    A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching.
  • The Active Power of Faith (codybateman.org)
  • “Coming Up Short”; Jeffrey Sartain’s sermon, Oct. 26 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
    Acts of generosity draw goodness and blessing toward us. When we give, we receive blessings far greater than what we have given.
  • “The way I finish a sermon” by Charles Spurgeon (tollelege.wordpress.com)
    I have preached this Gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever finished a sermon except in one way—by trying to explain what is meant by this simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Divisive pastors and Strange Fire conference

Weekend of Deep Spiritual Contrasts

Beginning last Wednesday during the Strange Fire Conference at his church in Sun Valley, Pastor John MacArthur continued his case against the Charismatic movement. A backlash of criticism from many in the Christian community resulted in the conference name and subject matter trending online over the last several days.

John MacArthur on Calvin's Pulpit

John MacArthur on Calvin’s Pulpit (Photo credit: six steps )

The Rev. John MacArthur, influential author, pastor, old school fundamentalist whose church draws over 8000 weekly attendees, and seminary president has (according to his words) hosted the Strange Fire conference to help the Church, and people who believe the Bible is the Word of God and that God has revealed Himself clearly and consistently and without contradiction.

Whereas the Jesus movement looked for ways to include people whom the church was not including (hippies, ’68 flower child counter-culture, etc), MacArthur’s movement is criticised because he seems bent on figuring out how to exclude a large majority of Christians from the movement they are already in. John MacArthur believes all Charismatics are blasphemers, misguided at best and perhaps even likely in league with evil forces, and ultimately hell-bound, which is the premise of his Strange Fire conference, based on his recent book of the same name. MacArthur spent the conference denouncing the prosperity gospel, the social gospel, charismatics….

Many think it is more a promotional tour of MacArthur using this gathering to promote his book and to have his ever-shrinking group of friends getting them back again as his followers.

English: Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houst...

Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MacArthur’s punches thrown during the three-day conference included calling out mainline, Pentecostal-influenced pastors such as T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen, and congregations that he says focus on “spirit-filled” services rather than Christ-centered doctrine.

“If the Charismatic movement was being produced by the Holy Spirit, the glory of Christ would prevail everywhere,” said MacArthur during the morning session Thursday. “It would be Christ dominated and everyone in the movement would be bowing the knee to the true Christ in belief of the true Gospel.”

He continued,

“The people would be humble. They would be joyful. They would be sacrificial. They would be confessional. They would be declaring Jesus as Lord and themselves His slaves. They would be denying themselves, taking up their cross and following Him wherever He led.”

MacArthur called the Charismatic movement a “long war on truth.”

“The true people of God have always had to battle the false prophets and the liars,” he said. “What makes them effective is the deceptiveness of it. It is a strange irony to me, in the Charismatic movement, that if you criticize them, if you endeavour to be vigilant and discerning, and if you endeavour to contend for the truth and hold them to Scripture and expose their error, they will condemn you as the sinner … How do I know that? I have lived that.”

He responded to critics of the three-day Strange Fire conference at his Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., that many pastors believe is causing dissension among the faithful because he’s teaching that the Charismatic movement is leading people astray and dishonours the Holy Spirit.

MacArthur commented that some of his critics have said that he’s fixated on the Charismatic movement, a claim he countered by noting that in his 45 years in ministry, this was his first conference he’s held on the movement, and believes it has come too late.

“In response to this conference, there have been some attacks, and we’ve been unable to escape them,” MacArthur said to the more than 3,000 attendees at the conference Friday night. “I just want to address those, because I do think that it’s important to answer the criticisms that have come.”

Through the last decennia we heard of many “miraculous” works presented as the work of a sovereign God. The people ‘speaking in tongues‘ become more popular and by many shaking and moaning is considered to be divine.

Jeremy Egrerer, CP Guest Contributor writes:

“if acting drunk is something which proves the presence of the Almighty, then every clumsy fool and every epileptic should be canonized into sainthood, and every bar considered a temple.” {In Defense of John MacArthur, Strange Fire Conference and the Challenge to the Charismatic Mov’t}

“If Charismatics are speaking the language of heaven, let us record and prove it. Release every Christian scholar in its study; let us learn to speak it on our own, and therefore prove ourselves the sons of God. But if it remains a universally undecipherable mess, incomprehensible and unmanageable beyond every human means, then it is only fair to wonder either whether we really are speaking the language of heaven, or whether perhaps God divided the nations of angels because they built a tower of Babel in the clouds – a historical assertion neither provable nor sensible. And if we cannot even do this, then let us at least abide by the rules contained in Scripture for the orderly and Godly expression of spiritual gifts.”

Prophesy and speaking in tongues does not mean something Godly. with prophesy we should take attention and check what those called prophets told about future events and how they enrolled. Soon we shall see they have no such power to foretell the future correctly. It is just not given to man. Even the great prophet Jeshua, Jesus Christ could not tell when he was coming back to this earth to judge the living and the dead. You would think such an important event for mankind this son of God should surely know, but he did not.

Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll at the Strange Fire conference on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, hosted by Pastor John MacArthur's Grace Community Church.

Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll at the Strange Fire conference on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, hosted by Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Washington state, made his way Friday to Pastor John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference in California to hand out copies of his new book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? and presumably share his views on the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit — which the Strange Fire conference challenges. He believes that people know they have the Holy Spirit if they speak in tongues, the primary evidence to Pentecostals that a believer has the Spirit.

Driscoll who used this conference as an opportunity to stir up some drama, has posted photos of himself talking with attendees at MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference on Friday, where he did indeed hand out copies of his new book — until they were reportedly seized by members of the Strange Fire security team. (find the photo: Handing out free copies of my new book, A Call To Resurgence) The director of the conference explained to Driscoll that those who are distributing books have gone through an extensive process and that they’d like him not to distribute them. After continuing to direct attendees to take the books, security offered to help him take the books back to his car. Driscoll insisted multiple times, “No, they’re my gift to Grace Church. I want you to have them.” After insisting that security not help him with the books back to the car, the conference director accepted the gift and brought them to GCC offices. This book clearly seems to bring disunity and dishonour to the Christian community.
The security people graciously asked Driscoll three times to stop hanging out books and he continued to do so. This shows how the ego went over the respectful attitude at some ones place. The Pentecostal movement shows the world it has also become as sick as the many other denominations in Christendom. Here we could see a pastor subverting a fellow pastor in his conference and attempting to dissuade people from MacArthur’s church to his own. I would consider that a very impolite action and calling it a terrible example. People have a right to share their ideas and point of view but they should know their place and consider where and when they want to take the word and attention.

Rob Shryock remarks:

Ironically, this whole incident highlights another similarity between Driscoll and MacArthur: besides both being relentless self-promoters who make their names by loudly denouncing others, they also hate when people call them out as self-promoters who loudly denounce others, preferring to be known as quiet, humble men of God who love and respect their enemies – despite all tweets to the contrary.

Christians like Driscoll and MacArthur thrive on conflict.

But Christians should be as followers of Christ brotherly united. Though brothers and sisters may argue with each other they always should be careful not having their fight s coming into public and damaging the name of the family.

MacArthur who commented that the conference wasn’t for nonbelievers within the Charismatic movement, for which there are many, he contends.

“I don’t expect nonbelievers to have a desire for the truth, a hunger for the truth or to search out the truth. That’s not what unbelievers do unless they’re being prompted by the Holy Spirit.”

, pastor.

pastor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though the task Jesus has given to his followers to get unbelievers and to bring them to him (Christ), getting them to know the Good News of the Kingdom of God. In the teaching of Christ Jesus it is shown to us that it would be unloving to leave people in darkness and error. So we should also meet the unbelievers and for the believers we should show them the right way and when they go wrong we also should show them their mistakes. Already very early in the beginning of Christianity perverse, deceptive men came to distract the community from the Word of God. already then there where preachers trying to get people away from the truth of Scripture and to lead Christians astray.

For this reason we should look at all those who like to preach and consider their attitude against each other. We also have the duty of to pointing out errors and giving biblical arguments also to those who call themselves pastors and church elders.

+

Do find:

Strange Fire Organisation: Strange Fire + Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California.

Find additional reading:

  1. John MacArthur Responds to Critics Who Believe His Strange Fire Conference Is Divisive, Unloving
  2. Mark Driscoll ‘Crashes’ John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference? (PHOTOS)Mark Driscoll ‘Crashes’ John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference? (Ppotos)
  3. Mark Driscoll vs John MacArthur: Battle of the Self-Promoting Calvinists
  4. Speaking in Tongues—A Growing Phenomenon
  5. Tongues, Speaking in
  6. Speaking in tongues
  7. Meaning of “speaking in tongues”
  8. Speaking in Tongues—Is It From God?
  9. Speaking in Tongues—Is It From God? — Watchtower Online
  10. Is Speaking in Tongues an Evidence of True Worship?
  11. Is the Gift of Tongues Part of True Christianity
  12. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  13. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  14. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  15. Why hasn’t anything been inspired recently? Revelation was the last inspired book and it was a long time ago. Why aren’t there any more?
  16. Pope Francis I on the Holy Spirit
  17. Louise Weiss building and towers after Ziggurat Babel
  18. Not all Christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  19. Christianity is a love affair
  20. Bringing Good News into the world
  21. The task given to us to love each other

+++

  • ‘Strange Fire:’ Addressing the Dangerous yet Popular Teaching of Charismatic Leaders (averageus.com)
    What do Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Paul and Jan Crouch, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, and T.D. Jakes have in common?
    +
    Charismatics are a large, diverse, loosely knit group who are difficult to define because they are often independent, united only by the personalities they follow, rather than being formally organized as groups of churches. But in general, Charismatics (and their theological first cousins, Pentecostals) are Bible-believing Christians with this distinguishing feature: They are committed to the ongoing miraculous work of God’s Spirit in Christians’ lives.
    +
    Charismatics tend to be experience-driven, pursuing personal power, victory, and prophecy while placing a low value on doctrinal and theological training. They tend to appeal to their personal experiences for proof that a particular belief is true, or practice is valid. They crave ecstatic experiences, the miraculous, new revelations, and physical healing, and generally believe that these are all available to those who have enough faith. Since they prefer immediate experiences over life-long biblical learning and growth, they can be easily persuaded to believe whatever a convincing personality tells them. In other words, they are easily deceived. And according to MacArthur, they often are.
  • The Top Seven Strange “Strange Fire” Statements (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com)
    Here are the top seven strange Strange Fire statements!
  • John MacArthur’s *Strange Fire* Conference, Charismatics, & Christ (bjstockman.wordpress.com)
    Christian’s should be known much more by what and who they are for than by what and who they are against. Yes, Christians must distinguish between that which we are for and that which we are against, and this comes from naming what we are against, but this should not be our central mark. Nevertheless, what follows is all done with what began here in mind.
    +
    It is my understanding that CJ Mahaney, a charismatic, preached in his pulpit and that he has relationships with other continuationist pastors like John Piper. Maybe it was intended to be alarmist to better “market” the conference? After all, in a later video, he seems to clean this up a touch, as he gives a “word of encouragement to faithful Pentecostals” and says that the conference is addressing the aberrations and extremes of the movement. (Would of been nice to hear that the first time). But this was *not* communicated in the first video, even if it was intended.
  • Strange Fire Conference: MacArthur’s Appeal to His Continuationist Friends (challies.com)
    Before addressing the accusations against the conference, MacArthur charged attendees to carefully read their copy of Strange Fire and to measure it against the Word of God. He is convinced that this book, with its well-documented research and extensive footnotes, will withstand careful scrutiny. He reminds us that this book and conference is intended for the Church. He has no expectation for either one to be helpful to non-believers, which he suspects makes up much of the charismatic movement.
    +
    Here are the seven accusations, along with brief responses.
  • Lessons Learned at Strange Fire (challies.com)
    Those who listened to the conference heard again and again just how many charismatics there are in the world—somewhere around 500 million. Conrad Mbewe made it clear that in many places in the world, and especially in the developing world, to be a Christian does not mean that you trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, but that you believe in and practice something akin to the miraculous gifts. Charismatic theology is a North American export that is making a massive impact elsewhere in the world.
    +
    The charismatic/cessationist issue is polarizing. Before Strange Fire I did not know just how polarizing it could be, though I suppose others did know, and this is why we have been loathe to address it. Based on the reaction to the event and the discussions back-and-forth, it seems clear that this is an issue many of us feel as much as it is an issue we believe by reasoning it out from Scripture. It is one of those issues where we see our own position with utter clarity and look to the opposite position with shock that they can believe something so absurd. Those tend to be the most dangerous issues of all because they can turn sour so quickly and easily. In the face of such a polarizing issue, I need to consider how I can maintain unity in the faith while still holding fast to what I believe the Bible teaches.
  • John MacArthur vs. Mark Driscoll: Megachurch pastors clash over charismatic theology (religionnews.com)
    Rich Gregory, assistant to John MacArthur, said he was there when it happened and that Driscoll’s books were not confiscated and there was nothing confrontational.“It was great, we were happy to have him at the conference. He brought books to hand out. We explained to him that all the books distributed on campus need to be approved. He told us that he wanted them to be a gift to us from him. One of our conference directors took that gift and brought them up to the offices. If you hear from him and he wants them back, we can send those back if he wants them. We were not looking at him like, ‘Boy you’re trying to stir up controversy.’ I don’t want to judge his motives for what he wasn’t trying to do. I wish they had actually stayed for the actual content of the conference.”
  • Samuel Rodriguez Takes on Strange Fire: Tells John MacArthur he Needs to ‘Focus on Preaching the Word’ (blackchristiannews.com)
    “If the Charismatic movement was being produced by the Holy Spirit, the glory of Christ would prevail everywhere,” said MacArthur during the morning session Thursday. “It would be Christ dominated and everyone in the movement would be bowing the knee to the true Christ in belief of the true Gospel.”
    +
    Rodriguez, who is considered the leading spokesperson for the Hispanic evangelical community, much of which is a part of or has a background in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, said in a statement sent to The Christian Post via email that MacArthur misses the mark by a wide margin. Rodriguez has been an Assemblies of God ordained minister since the age of 23. His bio includes the statement that in 2010, he was called to start a multi-ethnic, Christ-centered, spirit-filled, Bible-based church in Sacramento, Calif.
    +

    “John MacArthur suffers from spiritual, cultural and theological myopia,” stated Rodriguez to CP. “With great due deference to a Christian leader many of us admire, his conclusions regarding the largest and fastest growing of global Christendom, the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, speaks to a man ignorant of the community’s unbridled commitment to biblical orthodoxy.
    “Unfortunately, this blessed Christian leader cannot differentiate between substance and style, or engaging a biblical metaphor, between Christianity’s ‘wine’ and the varied ‘wineskins.’ In other words, Mr. MacArthur should be focusing on the fact that while many in the church continue to abandon our Christian faith, the Pentecostal/Charismatic community continues to offer the church a legitimate growth mechanism.”
  • Strange Fire Conference: John MacArthur’s Opening Address (challies.com)
    It is inevitable that at some point John MacArthur will be the subject of a biography (beyond the existing biography written by Iain Murray). Today he is beginning something that will, I think, appear in that biography. We will know better as the conference unfolds what impact it will make in his life and ministry and in the wider Christian world.There are 4,000 people in attendance at the Strange Fire conference and many thousands more who are watching the live-stream in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, French, Russian and Mandarin. Here is what they heard in the opening address.
  • Strange Fire Conference Wraps Up; John MacArthur Calls on Reformed Pastors to ‘Police the Charismatic Movement’ and Guide it Back to the Gospel (blackchristiannews.com)
    Conrade Mbewe spoke again, delivering a message titled, “Are We Preachers or Witch Doctors?” As Tim Challies reported, “The first session of the final day at the Strange Fire conference brought Conrad Mbewe back to the pulpit. Phil Johnson introduced him by sharing how others have called him the Spurgeon of Africa. Today he brought message entitled, “Are We Preachers or Witch Doctors?” Though an odd question, it is pertinent to him because there has been a clear shift in how “evangelicals” relate to pastoral ministry. Mbewe’s aim is to give a broad sweeping picture of the landscape of African “evangelicalism.” Throughout this message his caveat is to put “evangelicalism” in quote and end-quote, because it does not represent biblical and faithful Christianity. There will be those in Africa who do not fit within the picture Mbewe portrays, but what he shares today is the trend and it is a dismal trend.
  • John MacArthur Responds to “Strange Fire” Conference Critics (blackchristiannews.com)
    “This is for the true church, so that they can discern; so that they can be protected from error; and so that they can be a source of truth for others outside the church,” he said, adding that his book, Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit With Counterfeit Worship, can withstand the most intense scrutiny, when measured against the word of God in the Bible.