Marketing "Church Planting"
THE MERCHANDIZING OF "CHURCH PLANTING"?
Over the years, I have noticed how some ministers (and even others) seem to have the "know-how" to make merchandise out of various themes by means of conferences, seminars, etc. Themes such as marriage, prophecy, reformed theology, youth issues, finances, etc. etc. have been used so as to attract registration fees from people who have the time and are willing to pay to attend such affairs for whatever they get from them.Timmy Brister
, the sidekick of Pastor Tom Ascol
, head of the Flounders
(aka Founders Ministries
), is an enthusiast for such conferences, and he is now promoting another "church planting" conference.
It seems that Timmy has become more or less an aficionado on "church planting" affairs/studies while very little seems to have been done to plant churches. For the past several months, Tom and Tim have been talking and twittering a lot about church planting, but if they have much to show for all their chatter, we are not aware of it. They know how to plant blogs, twitters, and conferences, but so far have not become known for planting churches.
The conference Timmy is now promoting costs from $365 to $500 for a first-time attendee. Price categories may be consulted at http://www.gca.cc/Seminar_Pricing.htm
It seems that some alleged "experts" -- such as Ed Stetzer
-- are making a good living off "church planting" conferences, or at least supplementing their income to a great degree. Such conferences seem to be on the rise, and evidently "thar's gold in them thar hills."
Don't misunderstand -- we are not opposed to planting churches. We would just like to see some results of all the alleged training that fellows like Brister say they are getting. We have seen a few churches planted over the years, and I don't recall that they were planted as a result of "church planting" conferences where fees are paid to listen to the alleged "experts" on the matter.
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Further Comment to Challies
REPLY TO TIM CHALLIES:
In a message dated 5/26/2009 4:15:21 P.M. Central Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:Bob, I don't think that's accurate. I believe the majority of my readers would be baptistic (albeit Reformed and baptistic). Tim
I took time this morning to do something I have never done before -- that is, I read the Comments
on your blog about Lovett's book. I was impressed by several comments which seem to have a rather good perspective on witnessing, particularly those comments by "Victoria."
If truth were known, I think we might realize that a very great number of those who are critical of evangelistic methodology at certain points owe their own awakening or conversion to the efforts of witnesses who may not have used methods which pass muster with the current "Reformed"
camp of thinking.
It is rather paradoxical that the man who first proposed establishing the Banner of Truth Trust
, and whose wealth made the Banner of Truth Trust
a publishing establishment, Mr. D. J. W. CULLUM, was himself converted in what would be viewed as an "altar" type circumstance. The Banner of Truth
of July 1971, has a short bio of Mr. Cullum, a multi-millionaire, and it says that "it was while kneeling at a morning service in St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem on Christmas Day, that he received assurance of his salvation in Jesus Christ" (page 2, issue #93).Ernest Reisinger
, a disciple of anti-invitationist Iain Murray
and the man who founded the "Reformed" Founders Ministries, even "prayed the prayer of the publican"
on the occasion of his conversion (Ernest Reisinger, A Biography
, page 20).
Sometime ago, I made a study of sorts of those who are authors of articles which critique "public invitations," the "sinner's prayer," etc., and to the extent that I could discover, the majority of them attribute their own conversion to methods which they now denounce. Some of those article are at this link -- http://writingsofbobross.tripod.com/1toc1.html
Again, Lovett's methodology is far less significant than those of the Reformed camp which practices infant baptism as its "evangelistic" method and alleges that infants born to Christians receive "regeneration"
either before birth (per John Frame
) or very soon after birth, per Shedd, Berkhof, Sproul, etc.
On the whole, I find the advocates of the Pedobaptist Reformed theology
to be foremost in criticizing evangelistic methods of others while they make little to no effort at reaching the lost with any method whatsoever.
Bob L. Ross
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Comment to Challies
HERE'S A COMMENT I SENTTO BLOGGER TIM CHALLIESTim Challies
is highly esteemed as a blogger by the Pedobaptist Hybrid Reformed Calvinist camp (though Tim says he is "not a pedobaptist"). I seldom ever read Tim, so I don't know if he is as good as some seem to think. When I read a few things in the past, it was rather boring than interesting. But then, most stuff by Hybrid Calivinists is boring, isn't it? And Tim seems to be top-heavy on the so-called "Reformed" Hybrid Calvinist views which are about as boring as boring can get.
At any rate, I was referred to Tim's recent post in which he holds up C. S. Lovett's approach to Soul Winning
for the amusement of the deadhead Hybrids who, for the most part, don't even make any soul winning efforts and manage to find fault with those who do. After all, when your babies get "born again" either before birth or very soon thereafter, as taught by the Hybrid Reformed Pedobaptists, who needs soul winning?
While Tim has inspired "hoots" from his audience in regard to C. S. Lovett, Tim and his cohorts in Hybrid Reformed thinking stand for many more ridiculous ideas than Lovett ever dreamed of.
Here's a comment I sent to Tim via email:Dear Tim:
What evils you and others perceive in C. S. Lovett's Soul Winning book are miniscule in comparison to the evils perpetrated by the Pedobaptists in regard to the infant regeneration idea which has filled Pedobaptist churches and pulpits with unregenerates. Get the sawlog out of your own eye before you try to clean out Lovett's.
Bob L. RossCOMMENTS: Send your comments to:email@example.com
Rapture in May?
DID YOU MISS THE RAPTURE ON APRIL 15, 2009?
THEN LOOSEN YOUR SEATBELT FOR MAY 29, 2009
Some of you will probably remember our female acquaintance, Marilyn Agee, who predicted the Rapture in 1998. [see "Are You Ready for the Rapture '98" ]
Marilyn has evidently been making similar predictions ever since, although I must admit that my interest in keeping tabs on her calculations slumped considerably after she had several misses in 1998. I thought about her a few weeks ago, and checked on her website to see what she was currently predicting, and I discovered that we could expect the Rapture possibly on April 15.
I thought about that and was tempted not to file my Income Tax Return since it would be superfluous should I make the Rapture. But . . . on second thought . . . I cogitated that if Marilyn missed so many times in 1998, she might miss again . . . so I went ahead and filed the tax return. I did not think the IRS would accept the excuse that I was expecting the Rapture!
Now, today, I noticed that Marilyn seems to have deciphered that May 29 of 2009 could be the date for the snatching away of the saints. She says:
"If the 2300-day shortened Tribulation of Dan. 8:13,14 starts on Pentecost, May 29, 2009, the Rapture should take place before or on that day." http://prophecycorner.theforeverfamily.com/
Just thought you might like to be prepared . . . just in case Marilyn finally has figured out what Jesus and the Apostles did not know. Mark 13:32, Acts 1:7.
Garrett on the "Ordo Salutis"
STEPHEN GARRETT PLANS BOOKON THE "ORDO SALUTIS"Stephen Garrett
at the BaptistGadfly
writes from a creedal Calvinist perspective, which is a contrast to what passes in our time as "Reformed Calvinism"
which is generally characterized by the post-Reformation "born again before faith"
notion developed by Pedobaptists who contended that their "covenant children" get "regenerated" either before or soon after their physical birth.
Stephen says:The Ordo Salutis Debate
This is the title of a book I am desirous of completing. I already have lots of research materials collected for such a work and plan to work on it in the months ahead. I desire that the book cover the debate from both an historical and biblical perspective. I also contemplate having a large section that deals with whether regeneration precedes justification or vice versa. I believe one of the consequences of the "born again before faith" error is that it puts regeneration before justification, which has been the historical position of the Roman Catholic Church. Those "Reformed" and "Hyper Calvinists" who put regeneration before justification have taken, ironically, the position of Rome.I continue to work, as time permits, on my second volume of "The Hardshell Baptist Cult." I am also preparing for an upcoming debate this summer. So, my "plate is full."I appreciate all the readers here and their comments. I am nearing my three year anniversary here for the Gadfly (July) and am thankful for the opportunity of having this format to write on Christian doctrine. Your prayers are coveted.
See more of Stephen's materials at the BaptistGadfly.
C. H. SPURGEON ON THE BAPTISTS
I will now address myself specially to those who are known as Baptists.
As for us, the baptized followers of Christ, our ancestry as a body of Christian men is not to be despised. Albeit that the name of Anabaptist has been made the football of reproach because it was wrongfully associated with fanatical opinions, we may rest assured that the more history is understood, the more apparent will it be that those who were the most humiliated were thus treated because they were before their times. They bore the brunt of battle because they led the way!
God forbid that I should induce you to glory in them and so to wear borrowed laurels! Of all pride, I think that to be the most idle which hides its own nakedness beneath the tattered banners of ancestry. I do but dwell for a moment upon our past history to excite you to yet more earnest deeds! Prove yourselves to be these men’s sons by doing their deeds! Otherwise you are bastards and not sons.
In every effort for civil and religious liberty, our fathers were at the front! In the utterance of those Divine Truths of God which have made tyrants and priests quake for fear, they have been among the boldest! Our fathers, for holding to Baptism as the Lord ordained it, suffered at the hands of men who knew no mercy.Read the rest of the message at www.Spurgeongems.org Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit
, Year 1875, Volume 21:
THE UNBROKEN LINE OF TRUE NOBLES, No. 1260.
Hypers - Antinomians
MORE FROM STEPHEN GARRETT
Brother Stephen Garrett at the BaptistGadfly
has some more enlightening materials which deal with the following themes:Antinomianism & Hyper Calvinism New Basis Brethren
Stephen demonstrates that Hyperism
are in fact essentially the same, especially when it comes to the use of "means in regeneration."
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