Apostle?

There’s just too much of this going around these days:

The "Apostle"

For Real?

Detached, unaccountable and self-appointed “apostles” who find their credentials in mutual promotion networks of other detached, unaccountable and self-appointed “apostles” – rather than a functional local church.

Whether they go by “apostle”, “worker,” “church planter” or whatever – a local church dud telling you how to be the church is a danger to your church.

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Leadership Shift

“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers.”
1 Cor. 4:15

These days, we are inundated with aspirational books and blogs by articulate but unproven advocates for this and that movement, pet doctrine or agenda …

Become_a_Mentor… while there are too few spiritual moms and dads, quietly laboring without name or fame in committed local fellowships to build strong believers.

Fortunately, God is changing this dynamic.

While some want to instruct and inspire the masses with lofty ideas that have not yet been proven or matured in their own lives …

… effective leaders are content to reproduce in just a few what God has truly taught them.

We all would do well to listen to the latter, and be cautious of the former.

~ Jim Wright

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God Fads

“The more I read, the less I admire modern theology. The more I study the productions of the new schools of theological teachers, the more I marvel that men and women can be satisfied with such writings. There is a vagueness, a mistiness, a shallowness, an indistinctness, a superficiality, an aimlessness, a hollowness [in] the literature of the ‘broader and kinder systems’, as they are called, which to my mind stamps their origin on their face. They are of the earth, earthy.”

~ J.C. Ryle (written in 1864, but how much more true today – especially among those who push their faddish theology under the disingenuous claim that they have no theology, other than their own existential perceptions of Jesus!)

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Generations

Treasures from the Past

 
This old-world clematis goes back at least three generations in my family.

It originally grew in my grandmother’s yard in Maryland, then was transplanted to my parent’s home when I was a young man, and finally came with me to Virginia when I moved here with my own family many years ago.

In all, I figure it has been cared for by a Wright, in one place or another, at least sixty years.

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Bearing One Another’s Burdens

The other morning a young man stopped by the house.

burdenHe had been struggling with emotional pain and bondage, and said he hadn’t come earlier because he didn’t want to be a burden.

I shocked him by responding that he and his problems were a burden – that there were other things I could be doing that morning. But, I explained with a huge grin, it was my joy to be burdened by him.

He paused and thought about it, then nodded as he realized I was being totally transparent and real with him. Thus started an amazing time of talking, sharing and ministry.

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Organic Hypocrisy, Organic Reform

hypocrisy_meterUntil they stop excusing a history of sexual predation within their ranks, their blogs and books on sexual equality by self-professed leaders in the organic/simple church community ring hollow.

And until they accept local church accountability and warnings about that abuse, their blogs and books on how to be the church likewise ring hollow.

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Leadership Abuse

The latest edition of HopeSpeak, a periodical by The Hope of Survivors (a international support network for victims of church sexual abuse), published an article by me on how to deal with leadership sins – including sexual abuse – in the church. It’s titled Leadership Abuses: Private and Public Sins.

Protecting the Victims

I’ve just learned that another international magazine also wants to re-publish it.

Lately, Marianne and I have become involved in more and more church abuse cases – including local private cases and also very public national scandals.

Sometimes our involvement is very confidential, while other times it involves publicly confronting the abuser and warning others under the dictates of 1 Tim. 5:19-21 where there has been no repentance.

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The Many Languages of God

diverse-groupGod is a polyglot: He speaks to different people different ways.

Some primarily hear Him through the language of their heart and feelings, some analytically through their mind, some through the dynamics of action, some through the identity of relationships, and some through the passion of mercy and justice – among other ways.

Problems often arise among His people, however, when we think that our primary language for hearing God is His only language, or is superior to other languages He uses with others.

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Slander or Coverup?

When Accusations of Gossip Become Gag Orders, by Wartburg Watch

Slander is a lie and the person making the claim knows that it is a lie. Unfortunately, many use the word to mean saying anything negative about an individual – and then accuse others of slander in order to coverup or excuse abuse by church leaders.

Speaking truth and warning about leaders with a history of abusing others in the church or condoning such abuse – whether C.J. Mahaney and his fellow pastors at Sovereign Grace Ministries, Frank Viola and his fellow “workers” in the organic church movement, or whomever – is NOT slander or gossip. Rather, it brings needed light to darkness, protection to others & healing to the hurting.

In fact, where there are multiple witnesses against an abusive church leader, we are commanded to expose and issue publicly warnings in 1 Tim. 5:19-21.

Redemption

When we think of redemption we usually think about Christ’s atoning blood which delivered us from our sins. Yes, on the day we personallybundle surrender ourselves to the Lord and ask His forgiveness, He redeems our soul and we become His children.

Christ’s sacrifice was vital. We can now partake in His kingdom here on earth and when we die join Him in heaven. However, I believe that Christ’s act of redemption is far more encompassing then simply making a way for us to enter heaven.

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