I haven’t written here in four months, but I have not been inactive.
I have completed the rough draft of “Taking Aim at Rome’s Audacious Claim.” The rough draft is 256 pages. I suspect I will lose at least 20 pages in editing. I do need to add an appendix or three. The book is a historical look at how the Roman Catholic papacy developed.
I want to give praise for the spiritual growth I have seen in our community, Rose Creek Village. A lot of that has been the direct result of prayer. Pray, see quick answers; point out problems to God, see quick answers. That part is delightful. Working out issues when your church is very close and interacts with each other often can be painful because God requires us to be honest with one another. This can be done safely where brothers and sisters feel safe with one another. Maintaining that safeness with one another spiritually, that is the work.
I am part of an accountability group of six brothers. We have explored different ways of making our time as worthwhile as possible. We are about to begin a discipleship program from zumeproject.com. We already know something about provoking one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:24) and holding each other accountable, but we want to be trained to be influencers who touch the lives of those around us. Hopefully, we already do this, but we want it to be purposeful and to reach outside our church community into Selmer.
To begin that process, we have started a Bible study in town with a couple sisters we know. I’d love to have brothers there, too, but that’s not what we have right now. Our goal is to reach that neighborhood with the Gospel in a purposeful manner. We are not starting a church. We are teaching these ladies how to behave like the members of the one church in Selmer that they are.
A young brother managed to hear about and bring me to the ministerial association in our county. I was more than thrilled the month one of the local pastors (or “of First Christian Church”) talked about the difference between just working together and displaying the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17:20. There was a lot of resistance from the seven or eight other pastors there, which discouraged the First Christian pastor a bit. He told me so at a lunch later. He asked me if I was surprised at the resistance. I told him I had been pushing this message for over 30 years, and I was surprised at the acceptance. At least two of the other pastors were very open to talking about real unity versus just working together. To me a 70-80% rejection rate is infinitely better than a 100% rejection rate (both practically and, if you use the approval rate rather than the rejection rate, mathematically).
I don’t know what will happen with the Bible study or the ministerial association. For me, the next step is to ask for a regular prayer meeting to be scheduled with the pastors at the ministerial association. We need both the power and the guidance of Jesus, the Lord of the church and our Head.
That’s catching up. In the next post, I will share my favorite passage from the early Christian writings. (I have more than one favorite, so I have other favorites to share in the future.)