Thursday, October 19, 2006

PPL (Private Prayer Language) & Tongues

I have spent some time today reading through some of the blogs that I visit on occassion. One of the hot topics is still PPL and tongues. I began to think of this subject and have an observation that I want to make.

Tongues is a legitimate gift of the spirit, according to I Corinthians 12. But what position should it take in Christian life, and what position does it take in some Christians lives? In this passage of Scripture Paul gives a list of spiritual gifts, it is not the only list in Scripture, but it is one of the most clearly stated. In it Paul states that the first (and therefore the greatest gift, the first item listed in such a manner in the Greek always demonstrates importance as to order given) gift is apostles, the second greatest gift to church, in the context of these gifts, is prophets, third is teachers, fourth is miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administration, varieties of tongues (v. 28).

One of the problems that I see with charismatic tendencies is the idea that, especially with tongues, that everyone should manifest this gift of the Spirit if he is a true believer/saved. And yet Paul says very clearly, in my opinion, in verses 29-30 that everyone will not receive all the gifts. "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?" These are questions that he is asking in which he knows and assumes that the reader already knows the answer, which is NO, not everyone has all or some of these gifts. You may only possess one or even none.

This is where, IMHO, it gets very interesting indeed. When the reader of I Corinthians 12 comes to verse 31 he see something that is very important. This verse says, "But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I will show you a more excellent way." The list has been given. The gifts are listed in order of importance. And Paul says that if you are going to desire or persue any of the gifts listed; persue or desire the most important ones.

I too do not believe that there is biblical support for what McKennsic and others are defending in the SBC concerning ppl. I base this belief on Paul's statements in I Corinthians 13:8-11. It seems to me to be very clear that these things, although biblical, should not be given a greater emphasis or focus. Elsewhere Paul says that he too spoke in tongues, but he said that he would rather say 5 words the encouraged and strengthened the body of Christ than a thousand words in tongues that did not strengthen and edify.

As I stated in a previous blog, as Christians, we sometimes get so caught up defending a personal preference or belief that we lose sight of the task at hand. Our "enemy" is very crafty and cunning. I believe that many times he "helps" us focus on the minor so that we will forget about the major. The major is fulfilling the Great Commission, "...making disciples of all men..." As we continue to discuss the minusha, may we be ever mindful of the main thing.

Serving Him,

Friday, October 06, 2006

NBC and the Abomination of Madonna and the Cross

I will admit from the start that I do not all that is entailed in what is taking place with the TV version of Madonna's concert. I do not know all that is taking place with NBC and the Veggie Tales on Saturday morning. But what I do know is that there is a noticable and terrible intolerance of Christianity while an absolute tolerance of everything apposed to and in contradiction with Christianity is allowed and encouraged. (I do know that during the concert Madonna sings a song while hanging from a cross.)

As I was trying to find out some of what is taking place I was reminded of what is taking place in the blog world concerning the SBC, the IMB, the Memphis "boys," and the Joshua Convergence. The world is going to "hell in a handbasket" and we are allowing it to happen. I wonder what Jesus thinks of all this? I know that His name is being damaged rather than glorified by the conflict that is taking place. (Please understand that I am firmly committed to ensuring that the Conservative Resurgence and the "Battle for the Bible" is continued on for future generations.)

I wonder what would happen if all our brothers and sisters in Christ spent as much time battling our enemy in the world as we do fighting each other? I wonder if NBC would even dare to air the Madonna tragedy while forcing the Veggie Tales cartoon to alter its message for public airing? I would venture to say that if Christians had been paying attention that there would still be prayer in schools, that the Ten Commandments would be treasured by all, and TV would be an OK distraction in the evening for a family to relax with.

Again I want to reiterate my support of the Joshua Convergence and the Conservative Resurgence, but my heart breaks that we are having to continue to fight this fight. But I am sure that as long as there are sinners on earth, there will always be a need for a defense of the TRUTH. I want to encourage the readers of this blog to contact their local NBC affiliate to protest the Madonna concert as well as speaking in favor of allowing the Veggie Tales series to air in its original format. God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vision for HGBC

As I said in my profile, I am the pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church (HGBC). I came to be the pastor here in November of 2005. This past Sunday night I had every intention of continuing with my exposition of the Gospel of Mark, specifically Mark 8:11-21. As I took my place behind the podium I wanted to share with the people some specifics concerning our new outreach program that we will be training in during the month of November so that we can be in full swing beginning in January. As I was talking to the folks I began to share some of the "vision" that God has laid on my heart for our church as we begin to step out in faith to accomplish the task at hand.

As I stated I began by speaking of GROW. It stands for God Rewards Our Work. It is a very simple yet seemingly effective way to incorporate all of the body in outreach. I told the people that we at HGBC want to create and cultivate an environment of excellence that will draw people to Christ. We will be doing 4 weeks of training, at 6pm each Sunday night in November.
We invite anyone and everyone to participate.

I then began to share some specifics about the Upward Basketball and Cheerleading ministry that we are in the process of starting. I encouraged them to first and foremost be involved in the prayer ministry of Upward. But I also encouraged them to get involved in the other areas of the ministry. We need coaches, referees, crowd control, etc... There is something that every person can do, the question of the day is "Will you do what you can?" I believe with all my heart that God is going to change this world with the gospel, beginning right here in Green Cove Springs, Florida.

I spoke for a few moments on the need to start a program to help erase the debt of the church so that we can be better stewards of all that God has blessed us with. As the Lord Jesus grows this local body of believers, we are going to need more buildings, more staff, more of everything. These were all needs that I addressed.

I just finished reading the second article on the Joshua Convergence posted at As I thought back on that meeting I was again encouraged to take a stand for a biblical worldview. But I was also reminded that as Jesus so must I "Be about my Father's business." I was reminded of what the Book of Proverbs tells me, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

I pray that God fills my heart and mind with a fresh vision. I pray that He gives me and I live in the strength of Christ so that "I can do all things through Christ..." I pray that He uses this body to reach the whole world.

You can see more about our church at God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike