Saturday, 20 February 2016

How Do You Tell? by Susan L.

  Even before our church began watching video teachings from the two churches currently up for selection, I had felt a strong conviction towards one of them. Now I am in a bit of a quandary because the one I believed the Lord wanted me to vote for has some things that have caused me to squirm a bit.
  It's a Baptist church. Which means I would eventually become a Baptist. They don't permit women to serve as elders however, they can serve as team leaders or committee members. Membership hinges on whether or not you have gone through a full emersion baptism. I have so that's a moot point. My concern is that others go through the rite of baptism for the wrong reasons. But then, who am I to say what is the wrong reasons. Who am I to assume that God doesn't have His hand on the situation and will use it to His glory?
  The teachings have been good although the lead pastor is rather strident. To give him credit they don't normally video the lessons so he pre-recorded it just for us to watch. Perhaps nervousness leant fire to his words. However, he won't be necessarily doing the sermon here. Currently, they are written in partnership with their other site. Two different people then deliver the same sermon, live, with differences that merely personalize agreed upon teachings. The plus is the lessons are fully supported by scripture throughout their entirety.
  It is a local church based a forty-five minute drive away. The other site is in a town the same distance apart. This means the ability to connect with each other because the distances are doable. They probably have a good idea of the issues facing churches in small, rural communities. If we vote to join, the three churches will form a triangle equal distances apart. That strikes me as a mighty powerful, unified force against the evils that plague this part of the world.
  They have a heart for the community and invest in outreach opportunities wherever they are. They also have hopes for us growing, for reaching non-believers, and can provide the tools necessary to make this happen.
  So my question, "How Do You Tell?" is aimed at trying to make sure this is exactly how God wants me to vote. Then, as I wrote, my conviction grew. There were far greater concerns that bubbled up surrounding our other choice, a non-denominational church that is further away.
  Lord, thank You that Your desires for our body of believers is far beyond anything I could imagine. Guide us, guide me, into the path You have chosen. Help us see clearly where that path lay. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!
  "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? There fore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." Rom 6:3-5


  1. I certainly can understand your quandary. I've been "struggling" with the area of discernment. It is one of the gifts. Yet if I feel I have discernment in a certain area and let us say you feel you have discernment in the same area - but we have different views - how does that work? Same Holy Spirit. Making decisions like you are doing is a toughie. I pray wisdom for you and the group you fellowship.

    1. Thank you for your much needed prayers.