Category: not written by me


Impact Taiwan

As our Outreach team at OAC changes and grows so does our e-newsletter. This is a post for a  campaign released today written by Michele and her YWAM experience last summer.

link to newsletter

To Taiwan and Back

This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan on a summer mission trip. I enrolled in a performing arts summer discipleship training school with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Lakeside, Montana. The school was made up of fourteen musicians and nine dancers from all over the world; we all had a passion for God and a passion for music and dance. During our time in Montana we had one month to take classes in our field of study, music or dance, and we attended lectures learning about God and how to apply what we learned in the mission field. I was in the dance school, our team prepared by learning six dances that we would teach and perform on our four-week outreach to Taiwan.

The YWAM group reaching out in Taiwan

The YWAM group reaching out in Taiwan

Taiwan is a developed island nation in Asia. It has a population of 23 million people, and only one percent of the population are Christian. The most popular religions are Buddhist, Taoism, and Confucianism. Religion is often a frightening subject as it is associated with a dark spiritual realm. While walking down a busy market street it was common to see garbage cans on fire and shopkeepers tossing fake paper currency into the blaze. We learned that this is a religious practice based on fear and superstition where living family members are passing this money to their ancestors; a tradition that it is up to the living to provide for the dead. In Taiwan we partnered with the local YWAM office in the capital, Taipei. They had planned for our teams to have outdoor concerts at public venues, teach dance workshops at high schools, volunteer at VBS’s, share testimonies at coffee shops, and perform all over the city.

God did amazing things on our trip. During our last week in Taiwan we travelled to a college campus to minster at a weekend camp. We got to teach dance classes, perform, lead worship, and build relationships. During our last worship session we decided to have an altar call. At that altar call nearly two dozen people came forward for prayer. I had got to pray with a young lady who gave her life to Christ. For me this was the best part of the trip.

I am so thankful that God used our team in such amazing ways this summer I continue to hope and pray for the people of Taiwan.

1 John 4:16 says that “God is Love,” that is, the very essence, or substance (the ousia), of God is love. Extending through all eternity, the Father has a relationship of superabundant love with the Son, and the Son with the Spirit, and the Spirit with the Father: Father, Son, and Spirit, sharing a perfect love…The love is the substance. God is not merely a God who loves, he is the God who is love, whose very being consists of the eternal love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Accreditation Helps by Ben Elliott – page 10

Available through Amazon.ca

 

Sound doctrine is not enough, because, according to scripture, the fundamental qualification for pastoral ministry is godly character. Neither skill, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, nor reputation, nor personality, nor apparent fruitfulness of public ministry will suffice. Scan 1 timothy 3 and Titus 1, and you will encounter a profile of personal piety.
~ CJ Mahaney, preaching the cross, pg. 121
 

AND: DOCTRINE AND LIFE – article from The Resurgence

We must not lean on doctrine to reach the lost or solely lean on being an example. It is a balance of both and both are needed. “In our zeal for sound doctrine, we must not become heady and abstract”(AND: DOCTRINE AND LIFE, PART 2). Paul tells us “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4.16)

The 12 hour drive home went smoothly and the only casualties were 2 of the Barbie’s, one lost an arm and the other her head. The drive inspired me to quote lyrics from a song for my last vacation quotes and pics posts. Also, here are a few pics I took just outside Gleichen, I love Alberta!

I can be there for you when it can’t get much harder
I can cover your head when life starts to rain
I can hold on tight when you feel like you’re falling
I can bread crumb the path when you’ve lost your way
I can make you laugh when the whole world is crying
I can build you up when you’re broken in shame
But if all that we do is absent of Jesus, then this so called love is completely in vain…

Mercy Me This So Called Love from the album The Generous Mr.Lovewell

 
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Matthew 9:36-38

Prosperity isn’t wrong, but prosperity is always dangerous…We must live lives that show there are things that are worth even more than this world’s prosperity.

Preaching The Cross by Mark Dever, page 30

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Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:25 NASB

Morphologically, this thing is a jellyfish; functionally, this thing is a jellyfish; but genetically, it’s still a rat.

Kevin Kit Parker, Harvard University bioengineer
CBC Online article about bioengineered jellyfish from rat heart cells

Whether it is fabulous food at our favorite restaurant, the excitement of a great movie, or the life-changing impact of a church ministry, most of us can’t help but tell others when we’ve been well served – and no one needs to tell us to do so.

From Sticky Church by Larry Osborne page 31

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Swan River Baptist church now located at the Swan River Museum

Churches today must be recovered. They must once again put the Word of God at the center; and that happens most fundamentally through preaching.

Preaching the Cross by Mark E. Dever page 17

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Historic Anglican Church in Swan River now located at the Swan River Museum. Taken on my iPhone and edited with the Snapseed App.

The reality is that our sin puts danger before us, no matter where we land philosophically or methodologically. No one is immune from going down a slippery slope. But we should not discount truth because of the existence of abused. If such a leap is warranted, we might as well join Ghandi in rejecting Christian truth because of the hypocrisy of Christians.

Matt Chandler – The Explicit Gospel page 201

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.

2 Timothy 2:14-17 ESV

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Best thing to do on a plus 30 something day!

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Swan River museum

Isaiah is not called to be fruitful but to be faithful. And, in fact, he’s told he will not be fruitful. The priority of God charges him with is not success but integrity. He is sent to proclaim a word to people who in the end can see but not perceive, who hear but can’t hear.

Matt Chandler – The Explicit Gospel page 74

For the next two weeks I am on vacation. During this time I am hoping to do some reading and a lot of picture taking so I will most likely be posting quotes and pictures for the rest of July.

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Is the church today on the edge of encouraging people to slid down a slippery slope? I came across an article written for Christianity Today, through the Society of Evangelical Arminians website, that looks at how the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has put together a document that “aims to more carefully express what is generally believed by Southern Baptists about salvation.”

As Baptists Prepare to Meet,

Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation

The Statement that has caused debate:

We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. While no sinner is remotely capable of achieving salvation through his own effort, we deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel.

Pelagius – via Wikipedia

The Objection: Olson, a classical Arminian and author of the book Against Calvinism, is unaffiliated with the SBC, but has long asserted that most evangelicals—not just Southern Baptists—adhere to a sort of semi-Pelagian “folk religion,” whose origins can be traced to the Second Great Awakening and revivalists in the mold of Charles Finney. He believes the new document proves his thesis. “Traditional Christian doctrine, since Augustine anyway, has always been that people need a special infusion of God’s grace to be able to respond to the gospel—both Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on that,” he said. “They haven’t addressed that here at all.”

SBC Reply: Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, denies the charge. “We are obviously not semi-Pelagians,” Patterson said. “We do believe that the entire human race is badly affected by the fall of Adam. However, we don’t follow the Reformed view that man is so crippled by the fall that he has no choice.”

Primary Author’s reply:  Eric Hankins, the primary author of the statement, said he expected backlash when he posted it to the SBC Today website. “The statement’s language displeases our Calvinist and Arminian friends not because it is heterodox, but because their terminology and categories are not employed,” he said. “That’s all the charge of semi-Pelagianism really means: ‘You aren’t following our rules. You have to pick.'”

“Well,” Hankins said, “we beg to differ.”

Hankins said his formulation, which was an adaptation of a paper he wrote for the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry earlier this year, “Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: Toward a Baptist Soteriology,” was an attempt to make a complex topic more accessible to pastors and laymen.

An Associate Pastors response: “I don’t necessarily think the floor of the convention would be the best place for the cool-headed, rational debate that this issue deserves,” he said. “Even if doesn’t come up, this has already created a sense of unease in the SBC.”

Public Domain Images from The Story of the Bible by Charles Foster

What’s the big deal?

Denying “that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation [to deprive of capacity or natural power] of any person’s free will” opens doors to paths that lead us away from the Gospel. They follow it up with “While no sinner is remotely capable…” Of course no sinner is capable of saving themselves, but following this logic until they are a sinner they are capable to save themselves. At what point are you a sinner? How you understand the idea of original sin and our guilt lays the foundation for our reliance on Christ’s work and the need for a savior. Our sin is more than what we do, Christ made this clear in Matthew 5, therefore anytime we entertain sinful ideas we sinned long before we act on it. Sinfully ideas are also more than just bad things. Anything that takes glory from God and puts it on something else is sinful. Our innocence was lost with Adam and Eve. Sin replaced that innocence and it is built into us so that we need to be born again, recreated, and sanctified. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John.3.3). God must stripe us bare and rebuild us because sin has affected us to the very core. The price Christ paid covers an infant as much as it covers an adult (how this happens is a different discussion than original sin). That is what it means when it is said that we are totally depraved and that is what Christ has come to save us from. It lays the foundation of how we view our walk with God, his role over us, and our complete and total depravity. That foundation is what defines our everyday actions and our reliance on Christ.

 
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.
1 Timothy 1.15-16

Do you agree with the SBC statement or are they on the top of the slippery slope?

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