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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why here?

Why is it that those of us who do so are more than willing to hash out our differences here and not in assembly together? Where does the scripture indicate we must all be in agreement on doctrine and practice in order to fellowship and worship together? I have yet to meet a single person who does not take at least a minor exception to some doctrine, activity or tenant of their local Church. Where do you draw the line and why? What is it that would prevent you from fellowship and worship with other believers? Is it due to doctrine or practice? Here we pray together. We study the bible together. We share each other’s burdens and we encourage each other. Recently I’ve even heard the Gospel preached through various forms of multimedia.

I’m not advocating a digital Church, far from it. I’m asking why do we not have this attitude in our local Churches? Why not be willing to address these issues without fear of reprisal? Why not be ecumenical and thereby let our love for one another be seen? Have we become like the Pharisees and afraid that we’ll forfeit control if we actually have to dispute or defend our sacred cows? ;-)

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46 Comments:

Blogger dorsey said...

Doctrine only divides us if we prioritize it over relationship. There are plenty of believers with whom I'll eagerly tip a pint, despite the fact that I believe they're completely misguided (and vice versa). And I've never broken fellowship with anyone over doctrine. However, I have broken fellowship with people who insist that I'm wrong, and will not accept my friendship unless I believe as they do.

That said, I think it is often difficult in a church environment for people of differing doctrinal stances. For instance, my father-in-law, a pastor, believes that everything in the world falls into either the "sacred" category or the "secular" category. I, on the other hand, believe the sacred/secular dichotomy to be a harmful assumption, and that all Truth is God's, wherever it is found. He and I are going to have a devil (literally) of a time coming to terms on a workable ecclesiology. The key, though, is whether or not we vilify one another over these differences (and I admit, we have).

The difference between the local church and the digital environment is that there's no hierarchy online. There's no pastor calling the shots, and no positions to jockey for. If someone starts spouting a "my way or the highway" attitude, he soon finds himself marginalized.

Craig, over at Out of Fellowship has been exploring a "flattened" model of church that doesn't lean so much on a power-based hierarchical structure. Your questions here lead me back to that discussion. Such a flattened power structure would require inordinate cooperation among participants—cooperation, I believe, which can only be empowered by humble obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

2/28/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Don't know. But it is easier to hide behind a computer and rant and rave than in person.

Secondly, where in the world do you find all these pictures? I bet you have answered this question somewhere in a post tucked away in the archives but i am too lazy to search for it! =)

2/28/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse I can't believe you think that way and unless you correct your position...

Excellent thoughts and very well stated. I have to admit I got a little tickled when you said you only broke fellowship with someone who broke fellowship with you. That says alot about you brother. ;-)

I'm going to check out the link and thanks. I think you're explanation of how someone becomes marginalized is my understanding of how Church discipline should be administered. The flattened power structure wouldn't necessarily require perfect submission if it was coupled with forgiveness would it? ;-)

Pech who are you anyway and what are fussing about? Pictures! You want pictures! okay. You have to go to the Morgue File to get them. ;-)

2/28/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

hehe, Is that like saying I've never quit a job, except the ones I got fired from?

2/28/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

This is a good question.

I have personally struggled with this. In the past, any time a family left our church, my mom (under the guidance of the pastor) would not let us kids stay friends. What was the reasoning there? Well, I don't totally understand it. I know it caused a lot of hurts and scars that I had to overcome later in the area of opening up to friends and allowing myself to get attached without fear of losing them a few months down the road.

I agree with everything my church teaches about doctrine. I do NOT agree with everything about practice. Yet, I don't think that is a reason to break fellowship. I have attempted to discuss some areas of disagreement with the assistant pastor, and did not get anywhere. He simply said that if I chose to put myself under the authority of this local church and pastor, then I should bring my standards up to his level, for the sake of everyone else in the body and not being a stumbling block.

I conceded my point for the sake of unity, but I don't really agree with what he said in my heart. To me, if it's not a matter of doctrine, and if it's not something that will keep the lost from coming to Christ, then let me be "happy if my conscience condemns not in the thing which I allow."

Our standards of practice, and what we allow and don't allow in our lives stems from our personal relationship with God. Not everyone has the same relationship with God. So, you can't try to make everyone's practice be the same.

Okay, I'm rambling and off the subject a bit, but basically, I think it's somewhat difficult to discuss this in a church setting, because when you get into the area of practice, it gets personal and people get defensive. Not everyone has the maturity to be able to discuss it objectively.

whew. it took a lot to get to my point. sorry.

2/28/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

And you can't pull fellowhsip from me online. I can always keep coming back and say what I will and you can't do anything about it!! You just have to sit back and read and wept. (For real LOL).=)

See i can be more bold behind this computer than I can in real life.

Thanks for the Morgue Files. At first I thought you were taking them all, then I noticed a certain amount of professionalism. It got me wondering, can i withdraw fellowship from Kc if he is sucking pix off the internet?!

2/28/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

In a church assembly few people are willing to be honest about something they are thinking without also needing to be right. It's one thing to say to someone I think xyz about abc and state your reasoning and be ok if the person you are addressing still disagree and its another thing to try and convince the person you are talking to that xyz about abc is right. It is impossible for anyone to listen while they are trying to be right.

Being who I am I have never had a problem speaking what I think to anyone but the reality is I must be responsible in how I speak keeping within guidelines of honesty and gentleness. Even so there is a segment in my church that I am not welcome in because of the "risk" I may question. Thankfully though all the Pastors I have had have been very open with me and not at all concerned if I question or think different because they are all comfortable in there own skin.

I ask questions and speak up about disagreements because it is how I learn, I want to learn, I need to learn but sadly some see that as a threat which I still have yet to understand.

Love now tomorrow is not promised to anyone

2/28/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse that's exactly the same, only different. :-o

Kristi this is what's heartbreaking to me and also why I asked about denominational heirarchy. I do have to say though that it's hard to argue against the fact that you're an example among young women today and I say that to the credit of all involved. I still think in our local Chruches we've failed to give Christ the preeminence and perverted fellowship and worship with exclusivism.

It's so good to see your comments here again. ;-)

Pech again with the rants??? If it's no fellowship you want then it's fellowship you'll get! And I mean that! ;-)

2/28/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Mrs Zeke Welcome!

I think you've brought out an imortant aspect here concerning mutual respect. I think you're dead on and it does seem that for many it's a control issue. If I can't control what you think then you have to be silenced. This attitude is straight out of the dark ages and only serves to highlight the insecurity of others in their beliefs.

I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on other blogs and it's an honor to have them here as well. I just saw you have a blog now too. Great!;-)

2/28/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good point, Kc.

We need to seperate from those who deny Christ by their doctrine. However, when we exclude people from fellowship or ministry because of their views on baptism or eschatology, we deny the unity of the one body of Christ.

God Bless

Matthew

2/28/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Well said Matthew. That should be our only clear distinction in fellowship, believer and non-believer.

2/28/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

HI.

2/28/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Hey there. ;-)

2/28/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Than you KC for the welcome.
I wish I understood some things better about church.

yep I have a blog with no expectations or format and nothing great which is good cause I am still trying to wrap my head around all of you all. But it's ok I just do whatever Dorsey tells me too :P *poke*

It rocks to be loved

2/28/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Mrs Zeke, all seriousness aside, you couldn't have picked a better heretic to follow (hehe). I think all of us wonder exactly where this blogging will wind up and what, if any, part we will take in it. For now it seems to be a great forum for many things and I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts. ;-)

2/28/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

I was afraid of that. ;)

I guess I need to go ahead and get used to it, since heaven will be full of fellowship.

And no rants, just raves. teehee

2/28/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

;-)

2/28/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/28/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

1 Cor 1:10

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment
NKJV

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to:

1) Speak the same thing
2) Be no divisions
3) Be of the same mind
4) Be of the same judgment

I will not disregard essential truth for coffee and doughut fellowship.

Sacrificing Doctrine on the Altar of Unity

I will not minister alongside anyone who propounds the Lordship Salvation "gospel".

Our fellowships aren't to be a game. This isn't a date night, or ice cream social. In fellowship we are to encourage one another and build each other up. The gospel and Christian life teachings of Lordship Salvation is not of the truth.

Our fellowship in the assembly is solemn, and false doctrine, especially that of the soteriological persuasion must not be tolerated.

Why are we so passive? Are there not thousands of "fellowships"? How many churches have been fatally disrupted and broken apart with the entrance of Calvinistic doctrine?

Purity and oneness of mind is essential.

Now I will be brought to task with the objection that we shouldn't part ways on "worship styles", and other seeming "non-essentials".

On the seeming "non-essentials", if someone has a difference of opinion on them, he ought to entertain the church position, or if it affects him greatly, he should find a more appropriate fellowship.

I will not turn a blind eye when Lordship Salvation doctrine is an instrument in Satan's hand to destroy both believers and unbelievers (in different senses, of course).

I can be friends with just about anyone. This doesn't mean I have to consider someone else a brother and fellowship with him when I beleive that he is preaching a false gospel.

Truth matters, folks. It is by belief in the truth that one both appropriates eternal life and lives the Christian life.

Let us speak the same thing, be of one mind and of one judgment. Otherwise, we are either to remain silent on that which we disagree with the church position/majority or leave to find a more appropriate fellowship.

I will not sacrifice doctrine for measly coffee and doughnut fellowship. I will not trade in truth for social interaction and good form.

I will not countenance false teaching in order that a superficial country-club-esque fellowship and unity may be perpetuated.

Antonio

KC, forgive me of my, hrmm... should I say forwardness? This is indeed a hot button issue with me...

2/28/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio I have nothing to forgive you and you know your thoughts are always welcome, especially when we disagree.

I know there are so called "coffee and doughnut" churches but that's not what has been discussed here and I know many of my Reformed brothers are just as serious about preserving the Gospel as you or I.

That is why I would propose that we consider disposing of every argument over Systematic Theology in favor of discussing each teaching of Christ and the Apostles, a book, a page, a verse at a time if need be. We study the scripture in search of its riches but we do theology to prove ourselves right. I have never taken part in a bible study that did not lead to some measure of unity and individual respect but I have yet to find a discussion on theology that did not lead to division and accusations. We can learn to argue for these teachings instead of against each other because of our individual perspectives on God and His plan.

IMO one of the primary reasons that false doctrine can flourish as it does is the absence of unity among believers. It takes time and study to understand things that are against what you've been taught. I see so many who literally are in need of someone to care enough to discuss these things with them without the fear of being condemned for what they don't yet agree with or understand.

The easy way out is to slam the door and say, "go, you can't think that way", and so to prove us wrong they have. They've left in droves and they're still thinking that way simply because we refused to be patient and longsuffering.

Antonio when we stand before our Lord will He judge our theology or our deeds? Which is most important, to be right or to do righteousness?

I would never try to discourage you from your teaching but I will always encourage you to continue patiently with your brother no matter how dense or ignorant he might be, so long as he is willing. In spite of your words to the contrary I am confident that you will. ;-)

2/28/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Here is another problem not everyone in Church is there to worship God. Some are there for coffee other for doughnuts, some are there expecting healing and others for what ever they think they should get. Some are there to say they have been there and some thinking there salvation depends on it.

I go because I want a time or times set aside to worship God and I don't care about the air conditioning, where I sit, if so and so did this or that. I long to be in a place where everyone is of the mind to worship and give thanks. Where my own mind is not subject to being human, hmmm I guess that only exists in Heaven.

So I would rather deal with others with the Grace that has been given to me.

2/28/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Casey,

could you have unity with a JW, a Mormon, a UPC, etc?

If I am under the conviction that the Reformed Lordship Salvation gospel is a false gospel and those who put their trust in it are not brothers in Christ, then what?

The sorry thing is that the Lord will judge the deeds of everyone. The Lordship Salvation gospel conditions eternal life on deeds. They will be the ones saying "Lord, Lord, didn't I do this in your name and that in your name and these in your name?"

I do not relegate all Reformed people to being unsaved. Reformed theology is often learnt as a new Christian. But the sad fact of the matter is that when the Lordship gospel is preached to unsaved people, it is a message that does not save.

How can we speak the same things, be of one mind, be of the same judgement unless we agree on ESSENTIAL doctrines?

Ask either side, Casey. The Reformed Lordship advocate would assert that Free Grace theology is abbherent and is a false gospel.

I say the same about their gospel.

Amos 3:3

3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
NKJV

Antonio

2/28/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Take heart Antonio,

Not all reformed men and women are going to patronize you as Men from MacArthurs camp do. I am sorry that I used to. I understand why you hurt. Even though I believe in election in the sense that God comes after us and chooses us...I believe you are correct in giving the gospel call. Which is of uptmost importance. Take heart in that you have helped me see some of the Lordship movements deviances from exalting Christ and his grace. I would like to say that even though I am not in full agreement with all of your posts, some have been profitable. It is my hope though that you will see that all is for the glory of God and we are made for his pleasure. The gift of God must be offered without any restraint and we must be encouraged that the substance of our hope is the death and resurrection of Christ. A powerful substance.

I notice some out here want a Simon Cowell God(I saw Steve Camps post). Phew, praise God he is not like that. Some prefer the old wine though, that would force God to be this way.

I heard a song yesterday and it went something like this..."behind the frowning providence, He hides a smilling face,"

His heart yearns for even Ephriam. Praise God for that hope.

I guess if I were to position myself...well I guess Dr Lutzer from Moody is a preacher that I usually come down agreeing with 100% of the time.

I understand though Antonio why you are hurt and upset and i am partly to blame. Please forgive me for all those Pelagian referances I used to give to you in the past. You too Rose. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Even for my angry and harsh email.

Simple faith and trust in the living Yeshua who rose from the dead is all one needs to be saved. The faith of a child in response to believing in a good God who loves all men with all of his heart.

Simon Cowell as God? I need a God full of mercy and Grace.

2/28/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Pia said...

let's face it, some people find it easier and more comfortable to discuss things through mediums like this than having to face somebody who disagrees with you in person. for some, it's a lot easier to back off and disappear when they can no longer handle a gabfest which is quite common in blogshpere. but the bottom line i guess is that some people are better expressing themselves in writing than having to speak in front of real people.

fellowshipping with other believers comes in different forms and this is one of them. multimedia is being used now to reach out deeper into the world. there are other means out there but for me, it's going back to the basic. interacting with fellow believers, sharing and worshipping as a church. i'm not saying everyone has to agree but this is only my opinion.

3/01/2006 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Mrs. Zeke I think that’s an excellent approach. ;-)

3/01/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio for the benefit of those who might read our exchange I want to clearly state that I admire you, your knowledge and abilities and would recommend you to anyone concerning doctrine or seeking a better understanding of scripture. I would never want to discourage you in your zeal for the Truth but honestly I am not concerned at all that I might sway you from that.

I believe my determination concerning fellowship is inline with my intended approach in all things and I strive to follow Christ in His example. In Matthew 10:32 Jesus said that whoever would confess Him before men He would confess before His Father in heaven. Matthew 16:15-19 gives the details of that confession with specific reference to the Church. Jesus told Peter that upon the knowledge revealed to him by God He would build His Church, the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. I make no further requirement for fellowship than this same confession Peter made. There is no doubt in my mind that there are many who make that confession without revelation for numerous reasons but I cannot make that distinction. It is my constant prayer and hope that God would reveal the Truth to them as well but I know it is not something I can do. I can only tell all I know of Jesus and who He is and what He’s done and then place my trust and hope in God.

With respect to errant brethren; if I could expound or write it any better I would but this sums it up for me:

Galatians 6 (KJV)

” 1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. “


Beyond this we have a few examples in scripture that illustrate doctrinal conflict and resolution but none resulted in a division in the Church. There are disputes and with them the need for men who are strong in the Spirit and knowledgeable in the scripture to discuss them. You have proved yourself worthy of that task and there are others who have as well. I envy you all as desiring a good gift and I hope that all of us who enter these disputes will approach them with a spirit of meekness then I know God can bless the outcome. ;-)

3/01/2006 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian welcome back and thanks so much for your thoughts and for adding to the discussion. It’s really good to have you here. ;-)

3/01/2006 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pia I agree with your observations. I think the scripture indicates that there are many gifts given to the Church and there are many members. May God bless each of us to find our place and use those gifts as He intended. ;-)

3/01/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

I am sure that we can have this attitude in our local churches as well, if we learn how to love one another in God's grace. I believe mission should be ecumenical.

3/01/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Amen Kitty.

3/01/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Casey,

Unity is very important but true unity can only be achieved in truth. That is, we cannot have unity if we disagree on the essentials, so we must build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ being the cornerstone and everything else lining up with that. To that degree we will have unity.

To forsake the simple message of the gospel is to lose all hope of any unity at all. Of course, we need much latitude with our brothers and sisters in Christ where their understanding is weak on certain doctrines. only true fellowship with Christ can lead to oneness in His body.

Good post, God bless.

Jim

3/01/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Thanks KC,

BTW, unfortunately I am no differant on line than I am in person. In church, yep you guessed it. I interact at the same level. My poor pastor and fellowship members. You can ask my pastor.

We have a lot of wounded in our church though and our sunday school class is wonderful. I guess i got a lot to be thankful for in that light.

3/01/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Amen to Bhedr. Yes I think we should all be real, whether we are online or in person.

3/01/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jim thanks for contributing. Your comment really does highlight my reasoning on this post. Where exactly is the line? I’ve had to weigh these issues many times and I’m still considering them. At present I’m trying to clarify what the scripture means by one mind and the mind of Christ. I hate to be a simpleton but honestly doesn’t that mean to do the will of God? Wasn’t that the mind of Christ? Okay thanks for my next topic. ;-)
BTW you’ve got some thought provoking stuff going on over at your place!

Brian I can’t know but I suspect your local Church is as happy to have you with them as I am to have your thoughts here. Brother I hope you don’t feel alone in your struggle. I went off on a poor fellow simply because he “seemed” to be condescending to a brother. I’m zeroing in on something for myself. This seems to happen to me every time I place more value on my understanding than on my love. We’re just going to have to pray and watch out for each other. ;-)

Kitty some of my strongest friendships were born out of conflict because those friends cared enough and were honest enough to confront me.

3/02/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Well KC my pastor and I have a much deeper relationship now. he came up to me last Sunday with tears in his eyes and told me I was an encouragement to him. I was astonished. I have banged on his office door more than once as well as stood up in the middle of Church and given the same coffee and donuts speech. I have since apologized to him about some things and yet at the same time we are now more open to listen to one another. I am no differant than Antonio. I am afraid though that I have in the same spirit offended Rose and Antonio beyond what I can retreive now. They both hail from my same roots so in one sense we all are kind of like porcupines I think, but let it be known that I am a free gracer and that i thank them for jolting me and awakening me from going too far and getting steeped into Calvinism. I do however retain my belief in election, but fully acknowledge that one does not need to believe in it to be saved...Only believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and rest in his finished work on Calvary.It is a gift. We may differ also in dispensational thought as I believe that it has always been by faith by which we are saved. Metanoia is a change of mind which occurs when one comes to faith in Christ. Israel was commanded to repent in the Metomelomia sense to give us a word picture that they could not, and neither could they abide by the Law,the fig tree that was cursed *out of season* was a picture as well that only faith in Him is acceptable, and as in Abrahams case faith in Christ alone is what justifies us. God does want us to Metamelomia after we are saved and in our sanctification. I do believe it must also be stressed that He has set us free from the bondage of sin, but much like the slaves in the emancipation proclamation we have the tendency to hang around their old masters wishing to continue to serve them, when if we but believe we are free, then many wonderful things can start happening. As Chuck Swindoll said once..something like,"If we are abiding in Christ it is possible to even get through the whole day without sinning as we now have the power to walk."

I noticed Rose posted on Smeagal and Gollum. It was a good post. We are indeed like him, but with the hope of Christ now, I like to think that we are now like Frodo...bearing a burden with a mission and journey ahead toward victory. The Holy Spirit as well being with us as a person of help and comfort like good ol Same Wise who was faithful and carried ol Frodo when he was faithless, ever closer toward his goal. He even held him back at the end when both Gollum and Frodo coveted the ring, but good ol Sam Wise was faithful. This is the Hope of the person of the Holy Spirit. We have so much hope now and I am sorry I doubted that and almost obliged myself to the beggarly elements, but thankfully the Holy Spirit was there as well as friends to wake me up.

3/02/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

To further explain my past..well, let me use a word picture.

I can remember watching a 20/20 episode about a horse whisperer. His father used chains on the horses but he only used a string and was very gentle with the horses. When asked about his father and the chains, he began weeping and weeping. You see his father beat him with those chains as well to make him mind and to tame his rebellion.

Growing up in some of my circles chains were used to get people to accept the grace of God. It was hard to see past all of that. Please understand that I am not angry as I write. Unfortunately I have fought back with Chains and hurt others in the process. I am so sorry for this now.

My pastor understands this as he is a very careful pastor. I have even more respect for him today than I ever have. We right now are dealing with a young girl who does not want to have anything to do with any Church as henious things happened to her and that while her step dad who commited this abuse quoted scripture to her and was a sunday school teacher as well.

I had a friend also whose father was a pastor and was commiting abuse in the family. He was a free gracer too. I could go on but I don't wish to anymore. All of this made it hard, but down through all this time Corrie Ten Boom's message, "There is no pit where he is not deeper still!" Has washed all over my heart and I fully have accepted and let go of some of the damage of the past that I will not go on about.

My pastor understands that there are complexities that only prayer and careful dialogue can attain.

Jesus once groaned within himself with a demon possessed boy's family and was grieved to continue bearing with our generation. You see this is hard for Him.Calvinist would not agree with me on that point. We are all the same though...we all have the same hardness of heart, but prayer and being Spirit led with the message of Grace, as well as demonstrating it as Corrie, will open hearts up to this truth. I hope you can see what I am getting at and how hard it to articulate this. My pastor had a good father. I have read one of his books that was published by Moody.

Prayer opens up God's heart as well and I believe encourages Him to continue working when He is so hated by our world. This is where I strongly differ from the Calvinists. They see a more arbitrary God who is going through motions but does not love the whole world.But He loves everyone and the invitation and call is to everyone, but so many complexities stand in the way that we just have no clue about. This is why I myself have been at fault for making the problem worse by my insistence to be right a lot of the time. My brother tried to help me see this at one time, but it has taken until now for me to see this. The Lord has forgiven me for contributing to the problem instead of helping. Prayer and being Spirit led is so essential. If we are not led this way then we resort to using chains and we cannot beat people into receiving the free gift of God.

BTW, That horse whisperer. he would use a string and gently lead that wild bucking bronco around in circles gently using the string to caress the troubled horse into trusting him. It was uncanny to watch. It worked! After a while the horse was gently licking his ears and eating from his hands.

God is a horse whisperer and this task is very difficult and hard work, but He is very gentle and patient until our restless will gladly trusts Him and eats and drinks freely from his hand. What a wonderful God we have. Truly there is not pit where He is not deeper still. Any man can be saved if he desires to drink from the river of life. He can freely come. May we all learn to deal with people freely and not try to control them into thinking like us as this doesn't teach the soul to trust in God. Pray for me in this as well.

KC, your blog is a blessing. I was so wrong about you. Thank you again for your forgiveness.

I know what your trying to do now and how you are trying to use whatever you can to help us see this very thing I think that I speak of.

Brian

3/02/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian your Pastor sounds like a wonderful man and I think you're both very blessed in each other.

I read as you talked about your struggles and relate so well with them. It's a constant battle to move forward and though we slip or miss a step we just can't give up. I can't speak for others but I hope that none of us are ever unable to forgive each other. It is so essential to our fellowship and I'm grateful for your forgiveness as well. We'll strive for perfection but we can't expect it from each other yet. ;-)

May God bless you dear brother. I'm so thankful to you for all you've shared here and for your true heart. We'll pray for you and we covet your prayers.

3/02/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Thank you brother. I will indeed pray for you. Again, you are a blessing.

If any of you find it hard to forgive me. Don't worry and I understand. I gave you good reason not to. Let it be well with your soul as you guys are precious in the sight of God.

3/02/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Hi KC,
Minor issues are a far cry from foundational truths; we should be charitable to others but stay sound in the faith. :-)

Brian,
Forgiveness is what Christians do. It should be a given. However, reconciliation is something we work out together. I have asked Rose not to interact with you until you respond to my e-mail. I hope you can understand this as a reasonable request. We both wish you and yours God’s very best.

brother John

3/02/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey John,

Thank you so much for replying and giving forgiveness. My wife put the email block up and asked me not to corespond personaly with Rose via email anymore. I wish to honor that. I would be pleased to be friends with you and your wife via your friendship if you will have it.

Please understand that there is nothing my wife has against your wife, it is just that my wife has given me this request for personal reasons, and I feel a need to honor that. She feels intimidated intellectually and wishes that I would correspond with her in the way I do over the blogisphere. Please understand that her father was an abusive alcholic that always insulted her intelligence and so she feels other women can interact with me better than she.

She is actually a very bright woman and I delight in her very much and wish to honor her in that.



Can you and I be friends?

3/03/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger J. Wendell said...

Hi Brian,

The e-mail I referred to was from me, NOT Rose. I looked in our “sent items” and I can only see that she ever sent you about 5 emails over the last 8 months, and these contained only one or two sentences each, most all as email replies to comments you made on her blog. I, however, sent you a lengthy reply to the email that you sent us almost two weeks ago. If you did not get it, I will resend it to you, or if you rather, I could post it on my blog (I would like to avoid this) for you to read. Whatever you would prefer, but I would really appreciate a response. Either way, I don’t think we should keep carrying on this way on kc’s blog. Sorry, kc.

I think most of God’s people have hurts in their past… some involve deep pain, and dark sins, either that of others toward them… or of their own doing. The good news is that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. He said “…I will never leave you nor forsake you…” Through the problems, difficulty, and turmoil He is with us. The toil of our present time is not to be compared to the glory we will have in the future, seeing Jesus face to face.

3/03/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

John no problem at all and I appreciate all of you for you willingness to resolve things. You give a good example. ;-)

3/04/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

This is an interesting issue. I've certainly felt a touch more freedom to discuss issues and disagree with doctrinal points online rather than in person with those of the assembly. I can't say exactly why that is other than an idea of more tolerance and willingness to consider disparate views outside of an established heirarch.

Rhett Smith talked about the idea of a 'Pastor' or a counselor having all the answers. He said:

"I am becoming more and more convinced that there is great fear in many churches and theologians, etc. if they can't come up with the right answer. The fear of not having the right answer is huge."

I definitely think this idea comes into play here. Online, no one expects someone to have all the answers or to even be correct. Consequently there is more impetus to question, to debate, even to argue that which we do not agree with. In church, that impetus is discouraged, we are taught to sit and absorb whatever is thrown at us from the pulpit and accept that as God's word - often to our detriment and that of the Body of Christ.

3/05/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hi John,

John, my hands are tied in ways I cannot tell you. I will not try to vindicate anymore. I love you and can understand if you feel the need to post on your blog. So be it if this is how the Lord leads you. I understand if you are frustrated with me and do not blame you in any way. May God deal richly with you and your spouse and bless you with many spiritual and physical blessings.
Let it be known that even though my wife desires me not to open up correspondence via email, she was upset with me over the email I sent you guys and said that if She were you, she would be wroth with me. So I understand and give you full place to do as you wish.

We will fellowship in peace one eternal day and our flesh will be done with and so it will be. That blessed day our wills will finally and totaly cease into only His.

Take care dear blessed child of God and forgive me of the strong and harsh, vindictive, rehtoric toward your wife. It was all too unfair of me to make those accusations.

Brian

3/05/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Rev those are great points. No doubt questions and disputes can easily become or be construed as a challenge to the authority necessary to maintain a heirarchy. Thanks for the link too. That was a good article. ;-)

3/05/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hi John,

Good news.My wife told she will open up your email address. Please send it again and I will respond. Thanks Brian

3/05/2006 04:37:00 PM  

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