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SBC and Labyrinth Walking ???

Labyrinth-Walking Now Welcome in the SBC

We received this week our latest issue of Missions Mosaic, the magazine printed by the SBC for the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). I routinely screen anything coming to our church.

The red flags appeared when I saw an article entitled “Reclaim Meditation”.

The Prayer Path: A Christ-Centered Labyrinth Experience

Participants will “journey” through the labyrinth guided by a CD that soars with provocative, devotional narration set against a worshipful music backdrop. Eleven stations on their journey will lead them to “let go” of busyness, hurt and distractions that can spoil relationships, “center” their lives on God and spend time with him, and reach out to the world with Christ’s love.

That doesn’t sound too bad does it? Of course not! They are trying to sell it to the millions of people who call themselves “Christian” but that don’t know what they believe.

Examine the following link for an online version of Labyrinth Walking. The first station has a few Bible verses (from The Message) but then they start twisting the Scripture verses. Then by the second station even the Scripture verses are lacking. The music and voice are hypnotic and then watching the moving pictures add to the hypnotic effect. I could not watch and listen to the whole thing. Honestly, it gives me the creeps! I can understand the warning at the beginning for safety.

Online Labyrinth This is very strange and New Age!

Before proceeding please read the following safety instructions.

HT Mother of Many

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How Does Your Church Treat the Elderly?

Our family has spent a very busy, weekend visiting nursing homes with violin Christmas music and handing out Candy Canes. But it makes you think, what are the churches really doing for the elderly?

Many of those who are still in the churches feel their church has been stolen from them. It isn’t anything like it used to be. The music is too loud. They don’t know the songs anymore. What happened to dressing in your “Sunday Best”? When did play clothes and beach attire become acceptable for church?

What about those who are in the nursing homes and assisted living? What is the church doing for them? They don’t get the same attention as other groups who aren’t in church? Many churches will have bus ministries to pick up children but fewer have bus ministries for the elderly who are unable to drive.

My family gets alot of attention when we visit churches. We have a child in every age group from teen/college to preschoolers. We just lack a baby. So many of the churches are eager to share their ministries with us.

“We have great nurseries.”
“Fabulous children’s programs.”
“Children’s church until grade 5.”
“Rockin’ youth groups.”
“Youth camps.”
“Youth Church.”

Everyone is so eager to “sell” us their ways to be relevant to our family. The only thing is that if they really looked at us they would see that we don’t look like their typical family. The girls are modestly dressed and the boys aren’t in jeans and T-shirts. We also have more than the typical two children. A good “selling” point would be:

“We have family integrated Sunday Schools.”
“Our youth leader is the parents.”
“We aren’t offended by children in the worship service.”
“If you need to step out we have a Cry Room in back so you won’t miss the service.”

Who’s Emerging for the Widows? Thoughts on Missional Partiality

…who’s emerging for the elderly? What about emerging toward the culture of the convalescent home? What about analyzing the windowless worldview of the shut-in? What about making your life and the life of your church relevant to the local widows? What about becoming all things to those with Parkinson’s, artificial hips, cataracts, failed retirement plans, and no family?

Many today are eager to get tattoos and dress hip and overemphasize technology to “relate” to the surrounding culture, to “connect,” and to “open doors.” But if the majority of these people are truly motivated by a compassionate heart, why aren’t any of our youth dressing like the precious elderly folks in the nursing home? Who’s learning to play bridge and chess? Who’s playing vinyl records and eating at the HomeTown Buffet for no other reason than to open doors?

Shame

Shame on you
for proclaiming to the woman
seasoned with white silver hair
“we’re all about young families now”
and letting her miss church
the place where
she first believed
where she prayed at the altar
and repented once for all …

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Does Your Church Perform Infant Baptisms?

Does your church practice paedo-baptism (infant baptisms)? Most Baptist churches insist they don’t, or do they? Did they just change the age from infant to 6-8 years?

Paige Patterson – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.”

Here is the context of that quote from an interview between Mark Dever and Paige Patterson found in Interview with Paige Patterson from Founder’s Ministries.

Dever: I heard about one church recently, and I don’t know if you know about churches like this or not, in order to encourage baptisms among children the baptistry is shaped like a fire truck and they’ve got confetti cannons that go off whenever a kid is baptized. Do you know about any of this?

Patterson: This is my first time to hear this. This is blasphemous!

Dever: Anyway, it’s a church in America. It’s an evangelical church and they mean to preach the gospel so I want to be real quick to say their intentions are good. That’s going to get kids of course, because they want to come forward, get in the fire truck and make the confetti cannons go off. {If you have not heard of this see Children’s Ministry: Toon Time.}

Patterson: I do not view [positively] the huge number of child baptisms that Baptists are now guilty of–Baptists are some of the worst paedo-baptizers there are.

Dever: I know the average age of baptism has dropped, I think, about 10 years in the last 100 years. When you read biographies from the 19th century, they’re always getting baptized at 17, 18, 19, 20. J. R. Graves was baptized when he was 19. John Gill was that way. John A. Broadus was that way.

Patterson: It’s out of hand in our churches.

Dever: I don’t think we have to say that children can’t be saved, we’re not saying that at all. But the difficulties to us are knowing that they’re saved

Patterson: Because of the difficulties of communication.

See also Childhood Conversion.

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Sunday November 23rd Services – Grace Life

How to Be Financially Successful p2 – Spend Responsibly

Matthew 6:25-34

Service: Sunday Morning

Date: November 23, 2008

Preacher: Jeff Noblit

A. The Sin Behind Irresponsible Spending: Greed

B. Damage of the Sin of Greed

1. Testimony

2. Family

3. Health

4. Friendships

C. Wealth does not equal Greed; Poor can have the Sin of Greed

Guidelines for Responsible Spending

1. Give tithe and offering first – Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:15.

2. Little or no debt for depreciating items. Proverbs 22:7

3. Husband over finances. He will be held responsible.

4. No credit debt.

5. Use a budget – Proverbs 21:5

6. Discuss purchases above a set amount with Spouse.

7. Keep a record of purchases and evaluate.

8. Buy clothes off season.

9. Plan meals monthly.

10. Get a family financial checkup.

Sustaining Faith

Jonah 2:1-10

Service: Sunday Evening

Date: November 23, 2008

Preacher: Jeff Noblit

Future Grace

Fertilize the seeds of sustaining Faith – Romans 12:3;

Jonah 1:17 – an appointed fish

Germinate the seeds of sustaining Faith – Jonah prays to the Lord

Flourishing of the Faith – Jonah 2:7; 2 Corinthians 1:15; 2:16

Accepts God’s purposes – Jonah 2:3

It will work out.

It will work out for God’s glory.

It will work out for my good.

These videos seem to only stay for a few weeks in this area of the church’s website. Later the audio will be available in Latest Resources under the title.

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The Southern Baptist Convention is not Christian Enough

The Southern Baptist Convention is not Christian enough according to Tom Ascol. I must say I agree with the assessment.

The Other Resurgence by Tom Ascol

…at the heart of this movement is not a desire to “Calvinize” the SBC, but to “Christianize” it. You read that correctly. The great problem with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention is not that they are not Calvinistic enough, but that it is not Christian enough.

Either Christ is Lord of the church, or He is not. If He is, then local churches have no choice but to follow His clear teaching about how churches are to function. Historically, Baptists have been champions of this principle and have been the vanguard of advocating regenerate church membership and church discipline. The sad but incontrovertible fact is that most Southern Baptist churches give only lip service to these teachings of Christ, if they regard them at all.

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Our Visit to Grace Life Church – Jeff Noblit’s Church

We visited Grace Life Church this past Sunday. Several people have asked for me to tell them all about the services.

Isaiah was nice enough to introduce me to a friend that attends Grace Life Church. We were able to meet Brother Ed and his wife just before the services started. Thank you, Isaiah and Brother Ed.

Our usual seat in our previous church was the third row on the very right side of the platform and this time we ended up sitting in the fourth pew back on that side. Since we were so close and obviously new Pastor Noblit came down and shook our hands during the greeting time. The church was friendly enough and several people came up and greeted us before, during and after the services.

For those that live near B’ham the church was very similar in style to Dawson or Shades Mountain Baptist but not quite as large, maybe 500 – 700 people. One of the first things I noticed is that here were no hymnals in the pews. The words to the songs are projected on the two large overhead screens. The songs they sang were a combination of hymns and praise and worship songs. The robed choir sang a selection. Then they left the loft, very quietly, during a prayer and joined the sanctuary.

The sanctuary has an orchestra pit behind the podium area. It consisted of guitars, keyboards, drums, timpani, woodwinds, and brass instrumentalist. My daughter was disappointed that it didn’t seem to have strings, her favorite. A grand piano is on the platform played by Jeff Noblit’s wife. (We did met Pastor Noblit’s in-laws and they were very nice.)

Pastor Noblit is in the middle of a series on Finances. That Sunday morning the sermon was How to Be Financially Successful p2 – Spend Responsibly. For the evening service, the sermon was on Jonah – Sustaining Faith. Both sermons were very good and clearly defended the sovereignty of the Lord in all that occurs. I’ll post notes and links later.

My husband and children all enjoyed the services and would go back regularly except for the drive. I enjoyed the sermons, but must admit that I prefer more hymns and less Praise and Worship music. In addition, the music was louder than I care for, but my son (previous sound technician) says that was one of the loudest spots due to the speaker placement and our proximity to them. I can’t say it was wrong or bad just a matter of taste.

The church’s website states “We are sovereign grace in doctrine, Baptist in polity, and charismatic in worship.” I had wondered what “charismatic in worship” meant months ago and was reminded of that phrase just before we left to visit. It depends on what the definition of charismatic is but according to our family we wouldn’t have said charismatic but maybe joyful praise.

For those that will ask, no we didn’t see Paul Washer.

Voddie Baucham’s church would be very interesting to visit but someone else will have to do that since it is in Texas. His church is Southern Baptist also but it is also family integrated which we would like.

Thank you Berean Husband for planning our trip.


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A Vacation to go to Church ?

We visited a small, local church Wednesday night because time didn’t allow for us to get to the churches we prefer to attend but that are a long drive for us.  During the sermon, the preacher complained about people taking vacations and not going to church.  My husband gave me a funny look at that statement.

You see we are taking a vacation in order to go to church.  We are driving out of town today and staying in a state park just outside of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit‘s church Grace Life Church of the Shoals is in Muscle Shoals.  We will be visiting his church for Sunday morning and evening.  Paul Washer also attends this church but isn’t scheduled to preach.

My husband and I have been in Southern Baptist Churches all our lives but never one that was reformed in their theology.  We are interested in seeing a Reformed Southern Baptist Church such as Grace Life.  There has to be some good reason that Jeff Noblit, Paul Washer, Albert Mohler and Voddie Baucham are all still Southern Baptist.

So I will be out of pocket for a few days.  Please go ahead and leave comments they will just be held in moderation until I get back to them.  I have a few Noblit and Washer videos scheduled over the next couple of days so you can see why the interest in their church.


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Voddie Baucham on the SBC

The SBC and Calvinism: A Personal Perspective

Those who know me have probably asked me at one time or another why I am part of the Southern Baptist Convention. To tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking that a lot myself lately. I am especially disturbed by events at the recent John 3:16 conference sponsored by Jerry Vines Ministries, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The conference represents a growing antagonism in Southern Baptist life toward those who embrace the Doctrines of Grace.

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Say the “Believer’s Prayer” Win a Car???

Do you think this is an appropriate method for sharing the gospel?

3-minute testimony leads 1,600 to Christ

Since January, Hill and others have been directing people to www.threeminutestory.com where they can watch his three-minute testimony and then register to win a new car or truck in a Dec. 12 drawing. The winner will choose between a Dodge Ram, a Jeep Wrangler or a Chrysler 300.

At the end of October, nearly 28,000 visits to the website had been logged and more than 6,300 people had registered to win the vehicle, Hill told Baptist Press.

Maybe I am more cynical than some people, but I can see someone thinking that if they say they made a “profession of faith” and said the “believer’s prayer” it will increase their chances for a new car. There are plenty who enter Magazine contests who feel subscribing to a magazine will increase their odds of winning.

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Regeneration vs Decisionism – Paul Washer

Just Sunday morning I sat through a service that included the statement:

“With every eye closed and every head bowed – no one is going to be looking around; raise your hand if ….”

I’m still looking for that verse or even concept in my Bible. Maybe I don’t have the same version they have?

Does this happen in Denominations other than Baptist or is this specifically a Baptist idea?

Paul Washer’s DEEPER Living Waters Conference October 10, 2008 Session

Paul Washer speaks against the misuse of Scripture in the understanding of salvation.

Video

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