Riatsila and I went to IkasuCon in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.this weekend. Nice town, good con.
The weekend before we were in Orlando at AFO. Another excellent convention. We have done very well.Yaaay. I suffer from car lag big time, though.
This weekend I reacquainted myself with the exegetical stylings of W.J. "Ern" Baxter.
His teaching, along with that of the other Gulf Coast Fellowship worthies did much to form me spiritually in my high school and college days. A quote that means a lot to me is:
"God is more intent on the production of Character than the provision of Comfort.".
Bro. Baxter was known for taking the long view, for seeing the Big Picture. I know of no preacher or teacher better able to communicate the vastness of scope of the Redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Very Reclaiming of our silent planet into the song of Moses and the Lamb, as 'twere.
The impact is that of Scale. God works a work of cosmic redemption, while we argue over the arrangement of toys in the sandbox. At the risk of being utterly misunderstood, I see in the Scripture Jesus praying for the Church, that "they may be one, as (the Father) and I are one". Jesus prayed that we be One, not that we be Right.
I must bow to His will in that prayer.
Clearly, Jesus is not praying for "peace at any price", or tea parties with the Gnostics.
The scope of our unity is clearly defined in God's Word.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
The point I see is that I must not sacrifice Unity on the altar of my rightness.I hold views and opinions which may be at variance with my brethren. The heretic (the factious man) insists upon "my way or the highway". This leads to division. I must instead trust that God is Sovereign:
All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. Philippians 3:15 (Contemporary English Version)
Once again, the Word defines our bases for unity. My opinions do not. The Issues do not. Only the Word. To borrow again from Bro. Baxter, "the Word of God is the Intelligence of the Holy Spirit". He will not act at variance to that which He has so ably inspired.
How I Left My Ministry, and So Single-Handedly Ended the Charismatic Movement.