Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving On

Not sure what to do with what I’m thinking and feeling right now – except to write it down and puzzle it out.
So, I [we] decided to leave the Methodist Church and become Baptist, and I thought I knew what that meant.  Although I’ve never been a Baptist, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a Baptist was.I think what I’m finding out is that there are many different kinds of Baptists and many different kinds of Baptist Churches.

The good thing is that, unlike the Methodist Church, I can join a Baptist Church and not have to support some advocacy group that does not speak for me…at least I think that is possible.  I am still learning about the Baptist Church, Baptist beliefs, etc.But here is an example of something that is kind of troubling me and that is making me feel woefully uneducated – the local Baptist Church that we have chosen to attend is participating in a study called “Monvee”.  It is loosely (?) based on a book by John Ortberg,  The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You”.

Now I’ve known of John Ortberg for decades, though I can’t remember if I’ve read any of his books.   The title of this book is intriguing though and certainly speaks to me – someone who is seeking to hear God’s voice and discern God’s will for my life.  And yet, when I do a little research, I find that there are some Christians who have a few problems with John Ortberg, with his writings and associations and with Monvee itself.  These critics categorize Ortberg, Monvee, et. al. as part of the “spiritual formation” movement or the emergent church movement within evangelicalism.  For the moment, I’m suspending judgment on this particular issue.Another influence within the Baptist Church is Calvinism and there are churches that even use the term Reformed Baptists.  I really don’t know what to do with this.  I have recently learned that a new “movement” -  the 9Marks movement is Calvinistic and apparently there are a number of Baptist Churches that are choosing to self-identify as “9Marks Churches” – including one local church that I’m aware of, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. 

Bottom line, we still have some talking to do about what kind of church we want to be a part of, what we want to hear from our minister and teachers on a weekly basis.  If you have any insights, pass them along and stay tuned . . . 

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