TFB had its annual gathering this past Sunday. I came away thinking that something is happening. Pastors are calling for prayer. Deacons are calling for deep study of Scripture among all ages. I've seen the leaves blowing in the wind for at least a couple of years now, but the Spirit moves folks however he wills--Sovereign God and all. Maybe, just maybe, this is the year we see where we're coming from and where we're going. Not sure.

In pondering these things (while simultaneously working on my thesis--on ecclesiology, thus the connection), I came across a post from 2005. Now, I was writing on the issue of the ordination of women and why I stay at a church that will not ordain me, but the post also contained some of my observations of the Spirit's blowing--and a bit of a call for us at TFB to shape up.

A bigger issue for me is cultural compromise in how local congregations make decisions. The business model has infected our ministries, scripture has been set aside, and theology is considered useless to things like budgets and administration. Meetings are run by Robert's Rules of Order, with a bible no where in sight. Brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.

Now, things are changing at TFB--slowly--but there are many miles yet to cross and many detractors standing in the way. So, I must ask myself the same question Ann asked (regarding egalitarianism) over at Thru a glass darkly, Why do I stay? My answer is the same as hers: "for all its warts, my church is my home and God has not moved me anywhere else."

Like Ann, I have hopes for change. The changes are different, but related. I know that when we get back to relying on scripture as the only rule for faith and practice, honest exegetes will see that God calls and equips both men and women for ministry. I know that when we focus more on worshiping God that we will begin to see his priorities in expanding his kingdom. Our frankly petty issues will slip into obscurity. I know that there will come a time when the voices of the detractors are lost amidst the worship and work of a people following hard after God.

This is my hope for myself, for the people with whom I minister in Sanctify!, and for TFB as a whole. Here is my prayer.

Lord, we as a people will seek your voice in Scripture. We will align our personal and corporate ways of being with your intentions. We will focus our time and effort worshiping you and bringing you glory. We will seek and keep seeking your kingdom priorities. We work and wait and pray for the day with the voices of the worshipers drown out the voices of the detractors. Lord God, let it be so.

Original post: There is something to be said for persistence


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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