WELCOME…to our October ’09 edition!
A word of encouragement: Remember yesterday, dream about tomorrow, but live your life TODAY! God is involved in your life and mine, but don’t get ahead or behind. He is an “on-time” God!
Brother David Bernard of Austin, TX has just been elected as the General Superintendent of the UPCI.
Journey with no destination
How long will words like “authentic…missional…journey” be faddish? Will the redefiners redefine them before long and they will come to symbolize yet another obsolete pattern of postmodern thought?
Please allow me to excerpt some lines from pastor Brandon Buford’s article in a recent issue of Perspectives magazine. It demonstrates rare insight from a young pastor.
“I have been reading a book that is fascinating to me. It is entitled ‘Why We’re Not Emergent (by two guys who should be).’ In the book there is an interesting quote from a musician in a worship team. He said it this way, ‘In the music scene it’s really cool to search for God. It’s not very cool to find Him.’ It’s kind of like a dog that chases cars. What is it going to do when it catches one?
“Many of you have probably heard the term ‘seeker sensitive services.’ The idea started in Willow Creek. Ten years ago, Pastor Hybels decided their services should be geared toward the seeker. After years of church services focused on the seeker, he wrote an article in a Christian publication admitting there was a fatal flaw in their seeker sensitive services. Thousands upon thousands were seeking Him, but they had no idea what to do when they found Him. Therefore, they changed their format on Wednesday nights and began to seriously teach, saying this about their seeker sensitive services; ‘The church found that the people were not self-feeding.’ There was a realization that there was a lot of worshipping but not a lot of growing. They were enjoying the journey, but no destination was being reached. [They seem to be] seeking but never finding.
“[Author] David Wells wrote, ‘This is really the difference between Bunyan’s notion of spiritual pilgrimage and the postmodern idea of a spiritual journey. The point of spirituality is in the experience of the journeying, not in the purpose of reaching the destination. For Bunyan, the pilgrimage is about the certain knowledge that Christians have of the better country to which they travel. It’s about the way in which they must conduct themselves on the journey in preparation for the One to whom they are traveling to.’
“Emerging church doctrines focus on the journey and not on the destination. The destination is just not all that important. Along with this experience comes a lack of doctrinal reflection and more of a personal introspection. Thus they are saying they really don’t care so much what the Bible says. They spend more time on how they feel or what they are going through. Many of the Emergent church leaders and apologists came out of cold, dead traditional churches that had no zeal and no life…. Although they know what they are leaving, they don’t really know where they are going.
“Do you know how many preachers are afraid to preach a black and white doctrine? They are afraid to take a stand on issues like abortion or homosexuality. They don’t want to offend anyone. However, the Bible teaches us differently. Matthew 7:13-15 says, ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’
“In this postmodern world of blogging, texting, video casting, and so much more, we have become so narcissistic. Everybody wants the entire world to know about his or her lives. We text and blog about all our problems and what we had to eat. Postmoderns have taught us that we should be in touch with our feelings and not be ashamed of our failures. So we post them for the whole world to see. It has almost become a badge, ‘Hey, I’m a failure too. I’m blind, you’re blind, so let’s all walk around blind together.’ We should be saying, ‘Once I was blind, but now I see.’ We’ve got way too many people who don’t know where they are going.
“Now I understand more clearly than when I was a child the old songs my grandparents sang. The lyrics of songs like ‘Heaven’s Jubilee,’ ‘What A Day That Will Be,’ ‘I’ll Fly Away’ and ‘Oh, I Want To See Him’ tell us they were saying, ‘I’m not wandering aimlessly, but I know where I’m going.’” [end quotation]
[Brother Buford pastors in O’Fallon, MO. I have known him all of his life. The timely words and perceptive wisdom in this article are worthy of re-reading. I urge you to do so. Emergents on their “journey” are not accountable nor is much expected of them while they are wandering. If they were to find God and come to know Him and His will for their lives they would then be responsible to HIm. Journeying leaves them free from the expectations of true discipleship. Thanks, Brother Buford.]
The statement of faith and belief expressed by the signers of this document (www.wedeclare.org) is but another indication that many brethren feel that something more than rhetoric is needed to curb the drift of modern Pentecostalism, and that a recommitment to our historic faith is imperative. The UPCI is the bellwether organization of the Apostolic movement. Smaller groups and many Independents rely on the UPCI to stay the course. What it does will affect all Oneness believers, down to the local church level. It can weaken or strengthen the hands of every pastor.
You are urged to pray every day for the organization and its leaders.
ISC Training Conference
The Institute of Soteric Counseling will host its eighth annual training conference at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Indianapolis, IN on October 15-16, 2009. Those who have completed their requirements for certification during 2009 will receive final training and be awarded their certificates at this conference.
All who are interested in Bible-based counseling are invited to attend. For more information, please go to soteric.org.
Choking on sand…
Ah, the stuff that floats around on the Internet and then alights on our screens. Truly amazing!
It makes me wonder: Are we more fascinated by whether there are “secret codes” in the biblical text than we are about whether the church is being engulfed by the culture? Or whether Jesus could sin instead of the impact currently being made by the Emergent movement? Are we more interested in hype that suggests we are winning the world than we are of building an organization of “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Exodus 18:21)? Each of us should make a list of priorities and get our collective heads out of the sand lest we find ourselves fulfilling II John 8.
So let me get this straight…
Obama’s health care plan will be written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it and whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is dead broke.
What could possibly go wrong…go wrong…go wrong…go wrong….? (Source unknown)
What part of “illegal” doesn’t Congress understand?
Here is what the current Congress has come up with for amnesty. They might as well totally eliminate the border. This ridiculous legislation is shocking. It will shape our nation’s culture and politics for many years to come. None dare call it congressional treason, or corporate idiocy, but that is what it is. If they don’t resign, we need vote the rascals out. A poll reveals that a vast majority of Americans would like to dismiss the entire Congress and start over.
Here are the details: news:http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/17260182/1610997888/name/ftc-vi26.wmv
Does Obama have a “oneness” vision?
Where do YOU think President Obama’s Global Governance model will take us during his presidency? Do you think he is pointing us in the direction of a one-world government with one religion, one supreme leader, and one monetary system? Will we ultimately be reduced to be on a par with third world countries, many of which are governed by dictators, where corruption reigns and only the powerful are privileged?
I welcome your thoughts and opinions.
The ACORN scandal
The most recent ACORN scandal caught on tape should sink that organization, but since it is tied so closely with President Obama, it is likely to survive and flourish. As William Shakespeare said, “What fools we mortals be.”
Someone recently sent me the following e-mail:
“It breaks my heart to see our churches incorporating the denominal songs of the world into our worship services. Where is our separation?”
Obviously, we have all sung songs written by non-Apostolics. But I think what he is missing are the old “psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16) that generally projected true spiritual need, doctrinal direction, and future hope. Their omission may be blunting our evangelistic efforts and leaving many middle-aged and senior Pentecostals largely out of the loop.
The latest choruses by contemporary singers/musicians/bands can sound worshipful and inspirational on a professionally produced CD, but to reproduce them and make them meaningful in a Pentecostal service is not all that simple. There are many new worship choruses that I like and enjoy. However, some are very difficult to sing, not knowing where on the scale it is going next, evoking a break in concentration in order to stay on key.
Most congregations are not made up of teens and newly converted yuppies. You wonder if musicians ever stop to think who really pays the bills of the church and provides stability to the congregation. To ignore their needs and desires and focus entirely on the new music is a travesty. The new praise and worship choruses have their place and time in services along the way, but to limit the entire singing ministry of the church to them is cutting off a vital link that should not be severed at this critical time in our history.
The following paragraph appeared in an article at The Old Landmarks web site:
“The hymns of early Apostolic believers were inspired by deep spirituality and the freshness of Bible revelations. They were simultaneously anointed and apologetic, glorifying Christ and intimating the deep truths of the Scriptures. The popularity of many of these hymns lasted throughout the early decades of the Oneness movement. Sadly, today their lyrics and tunes are virtually unknown to Apostolic young people, and many of the Oneness songs are indeed endangered. But the musical contributions of our Pentecostal predecessors make up an important part of our Apostolic heritage, and it is the responsibility of the contemporary church to rediscover and revive the powerful songs of Zion that remain relevant to our strong stand for Acts 2:38 salvation and New Testament doctrine of the Mighty God in Christ, passing from generation to generation the ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ that so clearly articulate the message of ‘the faith once delivered unto the saints,’ born in the Spirit-fueled conflagration of early Pentecostalism and the rich experiences of our Apostolic ancestors.”
You may want to read the entire article about the songs that guided the Apostolic faith during the first seven decades of the 20th century. Go to: http://oldlandmark.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/psalms-and-hymns-and-spiritual-songs-the-music-of-early-oneness-believers/
You can purchase the following books from our secure web site. Thanks for buying books from Advance Ministries. We are happy to serve Apostolic ministers and laymen with some of the finest materials available today.
Twice Born: Turning over a New Leaf
By Vicki Hawkins
Everyone can use some encouragement. Vicki Hawkins has provided that for every reader. A story of God’s grace and mercy that will touch your heart.
Paper 154 pages; 9.95
“I cannot express the profound feelings I had reading the first chapter in your book last night. I don’t recall being more sorrowful than reading about your orphanage and foster child experiences….I hope to buy many copies for you to send to prisons. It should inspire inmates. I am blind copying some on this email who know you from your emails. I was so impressed by what I read, I feel lead to tell you, not some passing comment on how good it is.” – (Ret) Col. J. Ross Franklin, FL Pensacola, FLA
“Got your book today, and just finished reading it…the Holy Ghost moved throughout the whole book. The Prison Ministry parts of the book and the part where you were struggling with the Lord over baptism affected me the most. I cried through these parts and the Holy Ghost spoke to me in a powerful way.” – Bro. David Underwood, NCWindy Acres Ministries, NC
“I wanted to let you know that I read your book and I could not put it down. It was EXCELLENT and I felt the Holy Ghost all over it.” – Sherry Hood
Compiled by Mike Dobbs (Apostolic pastor in Wiggins, MS)
Volumes One, Two and THREE of the Word Defined Research Study Bible are now available. Order yours today!
The Word Defined Research Study Bible is a King James Version Bible, which conveniently provides the correct phonetic pronunciation; Hebrew word and definition for every proper noun in the Bible! Each page contains comprehensive information designed to make every page of the Bible come alive. Here’s an example of what you will find:
Each proper noun is followed by an insert of information that contains the phonetic pronunciation, the appropriate Hebrew word and the definition of the proper noun. For example:
(Moe zez [Mo’sheh]: “drawn out”)
1 Lebanon comes from the Hebrew word “laybin” meaning bright white. Lebanon is the loftiest and most celebrated mountain range in Syria, forming the northern boundary of Palestine, and running along the coast of the Mediterranean to the plains of Hamath.
“Did You Know” Text Boxes:
There are small boxes on many selected
pages. These “trivia” boxes are designed to enhance your knowledge about a particular story, place or subject. This information may appear as footnotes on other pages.
Volume One includes Genesis through 2 Kings; Volume Two includes 1 Chronicles through Malachi. Volume 3 is the New Testament. 39.95 plus S&H each or 119.95 for all three—shipping included!
Out of India
By Caryl Matrisciana
Lighthouse Trails Publishers
Paper; 246 pages; 12.95
Who could better expose the invasion of New Age spirituality into the churches of the West than someone who was raised in India, the prime source of mystical religion. After leaving India as a young adult, she became involved in the counter-culture hippie movement, only to find that the elements of Hinduism and the New Age were very much the same. She would later discover that the same brand of spirituality would find its way into the churches of America. She exposes the roots of Eastern mysticism in the works of Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and those who promote the concept of contemplative prayer. She shows how Yoga is being accepted in the West as merely a way to relieve stress and exercise the body, without realizing that it is a distinct part of the Hindu religion. She reveals the underlying beliefs of the new spirituality and the move toward an interspiritual world “peace” brought through mystical experiences. These influences have even come among Apostolic believers. This book will help you identify these dangers and circumvent them. A good read!
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