Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preface to my review of "A weed in the church"

About 5 years ago, the Lord placed a book in my path that completely altered my understanding of evangelism. It made such an incredible impact on me that it drove me further to God's Word for guidance in that particular area. What I came to understand was that I too had been a part of the unbiblical presentations of the Gospel to the lost. I had based everything I was doing on pragmatism and the cunning methods of man. This book was "The Way of the Master" by Ray Comfort. I have had the opportunity to meet Ray and the other slaves of Christ at Living Waters and witnessed firsthand their love for God and compassion for the lost. Looking back, I can see the hand of God as he used this writing and those associated with it to correct my ways and am thankful for God's sovereign mercy for such.

Fast forward to about a eight months ago. My wife and I had been keeping our children with us in the worship for a little more than six months. We were now in a new church and thought nothing of changing this. What we soon came to discover was that keeping our children in the worship service was not readily accepted by others. This caused great strife and grief as we were seen as trouble-makers who came with an agenda. However, we felt this was just a personal conviction and in no way tried to convey anything more than this. Over the months that followed, God drove me deeper to His Word (again) and placed in my path people who would quickly show me that my conviction was not only biblically based but just the tip of a much larger problem.

I was continuing to preach on the streets and trying to gather a faithful evangelism group to share the Gospel 1-2-1 with the lost in our community. But during this time, I was still pleading with God for guidance concerning the situation with our children in the church. One day, I stumbled upon (but God placed before me) an audio clip of a documentary trailer on one of my podcasts. I searched the internet for the trailer and found it was for a documentary titled "Divided". After ordering it, l I found time to watch and gasped at the wealth of information contained within this short 50 minute time frame.

But I wanted to know more. The documentary was endorsed and assisted by a ministry named "The National Center for Family-Integrated Church". I found the site full of article and sermons; more than I could work through in a few months. Several prominent Christian leaders such as Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, and Paige Patterson were among the supporters and contributors of this ministry. An important fact you should know about me is that I do not take anyone's endorsement at face value. Instead I searched through the site and even decided to pose a question to the founder, Scott T. Brown. Scott responded to my question rather quickly and invited me to travel to Wake Forest to meet with him briefly.

Within a week I was on the road for a 5 hour round trip for what would only be a 1 hour meeting. That morning I poured out my concerns to Scott for what the Lord had been showing me in His Word and through the ministry. He offered great counsel and handed me two copies of his book "A weed in the church". One was for my Senior Pastor to read and the other was for me. As Scott signed my copy he told me that it would address every presupposition and counter to the biblical presentation of a family-integrated church. He prayed for me and told me to contact him if I had any other questions. After leaving his office I couldn't help but feel ill-equipped to tackled those who would oppose this teaching. As I drove back home I kept looking over at the two copies of the book in my passenger seat and wondered just how much it would effect me. Little did I know that it would have the same drastic effect on my ministry, to my family and in my church, as did the "Way of the Master".

In two weeks I worked through this book and found myself in awe of what it was revealing concerning this "weed" that has grown in our midst. What I will attempt to do in the next few blogs is give a fair and accurate review of this ministry-altering book.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. If you are reading this from Facebook, please consider leaving a comment on the blog itself since some readers are either not friends on Facebook or do not subscribe to that network.

Thanks for stopping by!

For the glory of the risen Savior,
Pastor Adam (and family)

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