Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Around the blogosphere

Some very good posts today and yesterday that are worth reading.

Yesterday, over at the The M Blog there is a very good post about Church Planting, Baptists & Charismatics together:

I have been told 80% of evangelicals in Ecuador are either charismatics or pentecostals. To ignore and disassociate ourselves from them is not only unbiblical, it is ministry suicide, and quite clearly sin if you ask me.

He goes on for quite a while, well worth the read.

Meantime, here in the States, Jim Martin has a good post on The Wonderful World of Self:

Years ago, I was the minister to a church that met on the campus of a Bible college. The school and the church were their own separate entities. Yet, there was some overlap. After all, I taught part-time at the college (a senior level ministry class each semester). One Sunday, a man employed by the school was in our assembly. He approached me afterward and said that he was scheduled to preach in chapel that week and would like to use much of what I had just said in that morning’s sermon. I said something like "sure" and went on. As I recall, I felt encouraged that he wanted to use much of that material for his own message.

That week, I was in chapel and heard his message. It was very familiar — very, very familiar. Maybe I just wanted him to acknowledge that he heard much of this last Sunday morning in our assembly. Yet, not one word.

This bothered me.

This bothered me — a lot.

You really should read it all. One commenter on the blog said it is the "Somebody didn’t push my ‘I’m important!’ button." Well put. Definitely worth the read.

And Ted Gossard has an excellent post as well on Living out life

This is why, though rules have their place, they really do not have a kind of prior place in the living out of this life. For example, as one in Jesus, I don't refuse to steal, simply because it's a rule from God I must keep, and because it's part of a choice, among the many choices I must make along the way. No. But I refuse to steal, or fight any temptation I may have to do so, because I have this life in Jesus. And having this life, I want to live it out. And I have the dynamic in God to do so.

I was brought up with a form of legalism that made how one dresses (especially women), or what one does (and doesn't do) to be of prior importance in living out Christianity, in being a Christian. Fortunately there were those who knew better. But by and large Christianity was seen more for what we do and don't do, rather than who we are and "the life" that we have in Jesus. When I finally became a Christian, the new life in Jesus was at the forefront of my experience. I overflowed with this new love and grace I had found. But I gradually receded back into a kind of orientation, that, while not surrendering "the life" aspect entirely, nevertheless relegated it to a status that put the onus on me. As if living out this life, and remaining in it, depends on me

He continues on, worth the read.