Saturday, January 5, 2008

Truth and Relationships...Continued

This will be my last entry before I leave for Africa.  I will try to resume as soon as I can after I return and recuperate.  You may post comments while I'm gone, but I won't be able to respond until I get back.  My blog helper, Dan Kreider, will monitor your comments and clear the helpful and edifying ones (and the vast majority have been great!).

If you have not been reading all the comments on the last TRUTH AND RELATIONSHIPS article, you are missing some interesting stuff.  I am encouraging additional comments on this article because I feel they are surfacing some very important concepts.  To keep up to date you may wish to respond with your comments, even from the previous article, to this article.  That way I will be less likely to miss them when I return.

Now for a few more concepts.

I hinted at this one, but no one went for it.  So, I'll say it more bluntly and you all can kick it around.  Am I the only one, or is professing Christianity/evangelicalism just a lot wimpier than it was 30 years ago?  I remember times when  men of God who disagreed could confront, argue, and edify one another - like "iron sharpening iron" - and still walk away with mutual respect.  Yes, there were some cruel, unloving abuses too.  But it seems that now the pendulum has swung so far the other direction that many just suffer in unloving silence for fear of someone getting upset or disagreeing.  It seems that we have quite a representation of babies (under the guise of postmodernity?).  Consider 1 Corinthians 11:19  -  "there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you."  We need not fear controversy, because controversy reveals those who are approved, and sorts out those who are not.  Controversy can sharpen our convictions!  Exhortation, rebuke, reproof, confrontation  -  these do not have to be bad things to avoid.  They are, in fact, an important part of biblical love.

Next one; does anyone else feel the danger I feel with this mindset of "major and minor doctrines" (or essential and non-essential, or primary/secondary/tertiary)?  Of course, some truths are more central/foundational to our truth claims than others (the Trinity, substitutionary death of Christ,  But when other matters are made minor, it appears to me that the "minor compartment" keeps getting larger and larger, swallowing up even these very central truths.  So, now the push (relative to Islam) is "as long as it is monotheistic"- that is to say, the Trinity is not as important (a minor or secondary doctrine!!).  Some may feel I'm being extreme, but this does seem to be the trend.  Where does it end?  I would say apostasy, except for a relatively small, faithful remnant.

Last one; why does it seem that I am being pushed to settle for the "lowest common denominator" instead of "going for the gold"?  Let's learn more and more of God's precious truth instead of settling for less.  All for His glory!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Project C.A.R. '08


Please pray . . .
1.) for the spiritual health and growth of New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church while Pastor Keith is gone (for ministries, attendance, offerings, and a great spirit of worship.)

2.) for Pastor Keith's family during the time of this project.

3.) for safe travel for Pastor Keith (see Itinerary).

4.) for physical health and strength for Pastor Keith.

5.) for revival among the churches of C.A.R. (over 350,000 believers) as Pastor Keith preaches to their National Conference.

6.) for the lost to be saved and the saved to be edified as Pastor Keith preaches at three churches in C.A.R.

7.) for the success of the pastoral leadership training that Pastor Keith will be doing in Bambari, C.A.R.

8.) for wisdom for Pastor Keith to identify one or more new men to be nationwide/continentwide leaders in Africa.

9.) for the training Pastor Keith will be doing for business and government leaders in Bangui, C.A.R.

10.) for the missionaries NBGBC supports there – Mboi Andre, Francois Ngoumape, and Augustan Hibaile – that Pastor Keith will be an encouragement to them.

Jan. 08    Tuesday
·        Depart Myerstown at 3 PM for Newark, NJ airport
·        Depart Newark at 7:15 PM on Air France Flight #0019
Jan. 09    Wednesday
·        Arrive Paris at 8:40 AM (2:40 AM, EST)
·        Depart Paris at 10:55 PM on Air France Flight #0880
(4:55 PM, EST)
Jan. 10    Thursday
·        Arrive Bangui, C.A.R. at 5:40 AM (11:40 PM – Jan. 09 EST)
·        Depart airport immediately and travel by truck with Mboi Andre to Mbaiki (108 km) which is the site of the national conference
·        Preach at the National Conference of GBC's in C.A.R. at 2 PM (8 AM, EST)
·        Evening – counsel with pastors and leaders
·        spend night at Mbaiki (rainforest)
Jan. 11    Friday
·        Morning – counsel with pastors and leaders
·        Mid-day – travel back to Bangui (truck)
·        Evening – counsel with pastors and leaders
Jan. 12    Saturday
·        Travel with Mboi Andre and team to Bambari (all day truck trip)
Jan. 13    Sunday
·        Preach at the 1st Bambari GBC
·        begin training (formation) of new pastors and evangelist in Bambari
(eastern C.A.R.)
Jan. 14-18   Monday – Friday
·        continue training classes
Jan. 16    Wednesday
·        Preach at the 2nd Bambari GBC
Jan.  19   Saturday
·        return truck trip to Bangui
Jan. 20   Sunday
·        Preach at the Ngou-Mboutou GBC in Bangui
Jan. 21-24   Monday – Thursday
·        SALT training with Augustan Hibaile in Bangui(for key government and business leaders)
Jan. 24   Thursday
·        Depart Bangui airport 11:05 PM (5:05 PM EST) on Air France Flight #0883
Jan. 25   Friday
·        arrive Paris 5:45 AM (11:45 PM, Jan. 24, EST)
·        depart Paris 1:15 PM (7:15 AM, EST) on Air France Flight #0018
·        arrive Newark, NJ  3:40 PM
·        arrive Myerstown @ 8:00 PM