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Havok, your points about character are well taken and no one would disagree with that, however that is not the point of the discussion. I have met men of tremendous character from both Baptist backgrounds and Pentecostal backgrounds. We are not here talking about jots and tittles, we are talking about profound and fundamental aspects of the Body of Christ and how they a. Are obedient to the commands of the Word and B. How they are a witness to the world for after all we are told by Scripture that the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness, and then the end shall come.
If the Word commands that we be Baptized in the Holy Spirit with all the fullness and power that goes along with that, and we a. refuse, for we see no need of that, or B. refuse to gather around the one table to worship in the manner laid down by say, 1 Cor 14, then we simply have a real devisive problem. I have worked hundreds of times with men over the years who are of a Baptist perspective ( we are picking in the Baptists but it could be any number of denominations) It has been my experience that when it came to movings of the Holy Spirit, a party spirit arises and opposition arises and it can be fierce.
Havok, try this and let me know what happens. Attend a Baptist service for a period of time, and lets say you get a word from the Lord in tongues. Stand up and give it and let me know what happens. That would be a real test of the character of men............bro Frank
| 2018/4/15 18:32|
| Re: |
//Attend a Baptist service for a period of time, and lets say you get a word from the Lord in tongues. Stand up and give it and let me know what happens. //
That’s a good question- at my Baptist Church it would likely depend on a few things: 1) what is the circumstance (ie is it overly disruptive) 2) who it is that begins speaking 3) is there an interpretation 4) who does the interpretation 5) what is the message- does it square with scripture and is it significant
I have been in charismatic circles where someone comes forth in tongues and usually there have been red flags in all or some of those areas. Very few times have I felt the speaking and the interpretation was legitimate- but when it was it was unmistakeable.
| 2018/4/15 18:47||Profile|
| Re: |
Great discussion so far in my opinion.
The original question was whether friendships between pentecostals and baptists were possible. To me, that is a little bit like asking if friendship between two brothers is possible. But there is a little bit of a caveat to what I just said.
I believe there is coming a day, and very quickly, when the church is going to abandon labels of denominationalism. I believe that to go on with God we are going to have to abandon our own opinions and ideas. There is only one truth, not many. There is only one true interpretation of scripture, not many. God did not inspire His word to mean many different things to many different people. He has a truth, and it behoves me to fall into line with it. I believe that those who choose their own denominational nuance over what God is saying are going to be left at the shrine of man's opinion of God and not move on with God Himself.
That being said, I have seen God moving among people who come from all different denominational backgrounds. I was raised in what is very fundamental and foundational pentecostalism. Yet, I have relationship with many who have been raised in the Christian church and the Baptist church. I have fellowshipped with them, sometimes taught or spoke to them, and sometimes were taught by them. What I noticed is that it is not very hard to tell who had a heart after God Himself, and who is bent on protecting a tradition at the cost of the presence of God.
My wife and I have attended a marriage retreat put on by a man who is very fundamental, and we might even say holiness, baptist. I have seen evidence in his life of the power of the Holy Spirit and have felt the genuine presence of God in the meetings at the retreat. When he was asked about tongues, he was very open and honest. He was careful not to criticize. He simply expressed his understanding and, if I might be blunt, His ignorance of the gift. He had friendly fellowship with a pentecostal church that I was familiar with about 15 minutes from his home and had visited the church. I could see in this man a humility and a desire to have all of God. He was the kind of man that I could fellowship with because of the condition of his heart toward God.
I also had a fellow pentecostal who teaches at the same public school that I teach at who came to my desk to visit one day. He wanted to know what I believed about various topics as he is from a slightly different group of pentecostals than I am. He kept fishing until he found that I did not believe wholeheartedly in a pre-tribulation rapture and the accompanying dispensationalism. To be honest, I had not totally made up my mind where I stood. I felt I did not have a complete enough understanding of scripture to land solidly on one side or the other. He spent the best part of twenty minutes trying to argue me into seeing it His way. When I told Him that I was not settled one way or the other, and was OK with that at the moment, he could not accept it. When I told him I did not think it was an essential doctrine for salvation, he told me it was and that I must see it his way, as his way was the only correct way. True fellowship with this man was impossible. Not because I did not desire it, but because his own heart was not in a place where He could receive and give it.
I believe the heart of man is the key. Forget the label. They are going to disappear very soon in the true church I believe, or at least they are going to lose all significance. But there is coming a unity among true believers that cannot be broken, and it centers around complete surrender, in humility, to Christ. In that place, I see also a unity of doctrine arising on a level that we have not seen before in the American church.
| 2018/4/15 19:59||Profile|
| Re: |
Dear brother Travis! Your post encouraged my spirit so much. Very well said, and I wholeheartedly agree.
You said it well when you said “there is one truth”.
Love you brother!
Love you all!
| 2018/4/15 20:30||Profile|
| Re: |
Travis, you make many excellent points. You wrote........
"When I told him I did not think it was an essential doctrine for salvation, he told me it was and that I must see it his way, as his way was the only correct way. True fellowship with this man was impossible. Not because I did not desire it, but because his own heart was not in a place where He could receive and give it."
True fellowship with this man was impossible you said and that was true and not because of you. This has been my experience time and time again. Your last point about the coming unity of the Body and having no labels has been my primary focus in my writings for the last ten years. Let me tell you, there is massive resistance to that message from places you would expect and others you would not. Jesus said in John 17 that He had come so that we would be one as He and His Father are one. Jesus said that. Therefore it will come to pass as impossible as that seems right now. Can I suggest that when persecution begins in earnest in the West that denominational differences are going to be meaningless.Every saint will have a desperate need of the power of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that empowered the early Church to stand in the face of terrible conditions will be the same Spirit that raises up a standard in us when the enemy comes in like a flood.............bro Frank
| 2018/4/16 0:31|
| Re: brother Travis |
Well said brother and I believe your words to be more prophetic than even you imagine regarding the shedding of denominational labels and the truth church/body being revealed...
Perhaps brother Bear is right in that wether as a precedent or as a provocation of... persecution will most likely be a factor in this revealing-
It is sad when we limit our fellowship to those whom share in our pet doctrines not realizing we are passing through and there is more the Lord reveals to us, growing and refining us if we will only open our hearts and listen.
Thanks for your post brother as brother Caleb said, it is a blessing:)
| 2018/4/16 1:26||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
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If you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are my brother, as stated in the verses below taken from Ephesians
"13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far
away have been brought near by the blood of
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made
the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing
wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his
flesh the law with its commands and regulations.
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity
out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and
in one body to reconcile both of them to God
through the cross, by which he put to death their
hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you
who were far away and peace to those who were
near. 18 For through him we both have access to
the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners
and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people
and also members of his household, 20 built on
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with
Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."
"4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you
to live a life worthy of the calling you have
received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be
patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make
every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through
the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one
Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when
you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all
and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as
Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it b says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.” c
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he
also descended to the lower, earthly regions d?
10 He who descended is the very one who ascended
higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the
whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the
apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors
and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of
service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the
knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,
attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed
back and forth by the waves, and blown here and
there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning
and craftiness of people in their deceitful
scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,
we will in all things grow up into him who is the
head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
grows and builds itself up in love, as each
part does its work."
| 2018/4/16 3:32||Profile|
| Re: |
This discussion has been a good one, and I appreciate the input that has come through the Body.
I remember back in the early 70’s when many Christians in mainline denominations were getting baptized in the Holy Spirit, and were fellow shipping with believers in other denominations. This was a move of God to bring the Body into unity. However the denominational leaders were the greatest enemy to what God was doing. At this time there were some Baptist pastors that were baptized in the Holy Spirit that were given the left foot of fellowship, and churches were literally divided.
Jesus is building His Church, and it is not a Denomination. Denominations create division, even though many of them were established when certain truths that had been abandoned were being restored to the church.
The unity that God is calling us to is not conformity, just agreeing with each other in order to get along with each other.
We would do well to give heed to the following scriptures as Brother William mentioned:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord,one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)
| 2018/4/16 7:47||Profile|
| Re: |
I used to pray with a group of guys in a coffee shop on Wednesday nights. The guy who ran the coffee shop (also in the group) would close it at 7pm and we’d pray in there.
In the group, there were 2 or 3 ultra charismatics (“prophetic stream”), a couple more conservative charismatics, one very conservative and wary charismatic (me), a Baptist pastor who leaned charismatic and a couple of strong non charismatic men of God.
It was an extremely powerful time of prayer I think because of the diversity. We all knew where each other stood but that did not matter and no one judged.
After a couple of months of meeting I had a very vivid dream, one of two or three that I know without doubt was directly from the Lord. I may have shared it before but here it is:
As the dream began I was walking into what I describe as a gymnasium. It may not have been a gym but it was a large open room like that. As I entered through the doors, Charles was sitting on a high stool to my left. I am not sure exactly what he was doing or what his function was, but I knew that he was in a vital position. I said “Hi Charles” and walked on in.
I noticed several people ahead, all on the left side of this room. If you
imagine a basketball court, everyone was to left side of the out of bounds line but there were no bleachers. First, I saw Dave L. on one knee ministering to someone who was sitting on the ground. I am not sure if he was sharing the gospel or praying for a healing, but I sensed intensity.
Mark S and Dana were further ahead involved in some sort of activity—I believe they were moving a long table together in preparation for some ministry purpose. I remember there was joy on their faces and it made me smile.
Todd R. was in character, sort of flitting around from person to person
encouraging or assisting in some way.
There may have been more people in the room, but I cannot remember specifically who was there. But my sense was that there was a lot of activity, but at the same time it was very serene and orderly.
Then I sat in a chair kind of to the left of where Dave L. was talking to that
gentleman. I heard Dave say “This is the best song I have ever heard” and he handed me a sheet of paper with lyrics to a song on it. I knew
he meant "worship song" but he didn't say that specifically. The only thing I
can remember about these lyrics was that the word “Eden” was in there. I wish I could remember more about that.
But the most powerful part of the dream is that when I took that piece of paper and started looking at it, the overwhelming presence of God came over me in such a powerful way. I mean I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak, and I couldn’t continue reading. I don’t know if you have ever felt really excited about something or really felt the presence of God where you are shaking internally—almost like really strong shivers—but that is what I was feeling.
The most important, and encouraging part about this dream is this: the sense that I got was that there was holiness in this room because of the men that were in it. God was saying to me that I was fortunate to know these men; because where they are He will also be in a mighty way. I want to stress that I know that the reason I felt that overwhelming presence of the Lord was because of the men who were in the room, and what was going on in the room.
When I related this dream to my prayer group one of them reminded me that Eden means “delight”— I had heard that before but had forgotten. That was the exact sense of the dream- that God was delighted that this diverse group of men were committed to meeting with Him on a regular basis.
| 2018/4/16 9:29||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
Wow! Beautiful awesome testimony Todd!
| 2018/4/16 10:13||Profile|