Northwest Regional FBF Conference

We held our annual conference last week at Lincoln Park Baptist Church in Wenatchee, WA.

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Fred Moritz, my good friend and former mission director. He is now ‘emeritus’ with the mission and on the faculty of Maranatha Baptist Seminary.

We had a great week … all in just three days! Lots of preaching and good fellowship. We are hosting the sermons at our church site, so I thought I would make the link available for anyone who might be interested.

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Comments

  1. An imperfect record can be cleared up. I’ve always thought so. We’re not perfect, but we can clear it up where we’ve been imperfect. We don’t just throw our hands up and say—well, men are going to be imperfect. I’m referring to your panel discussion.

    • Well, panel discussions are the ‘in’ thing these days, it seems.

      I’m not sure if we really know how to do a panel discussion well. But since everyone else is doing them, I guess we have to try.

      As to your comment, I am not sure what you are referring to specifically. I think, though, that we aren’t just throwing up our hands, rather we have to have enough humility to recognize our own imperfections and enough charity to allow for imperfections in others.

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  2. The panel discussion is what people want to hear, because it answers the questions people want to hear answered and it is spontaneous. You did a good job. Very smooth. I’m talking about something one of the panel said in answer to the spirit of fundamentalism. He was saying that fundamentalism isn’t perfect and nobody is perfect. I think that’s fine to say, and it works toward deflecting the typical criticism of fundamentalism. We all know nobody is perfect, but that isn’t a blanket disclaimer for unresolved imperfections. I’m thankful for the grace of God—no office, no ministry, no anything without it—but grace works toward resolutions. Some would say that we just have to deal with some things, but is it possible that fundamentalism at a fundamental level can’t deal with its own imperfections. I don’t think there is some conspiracy to allow for them, but that by nature it’s not possible for it to occur—either in fundamentalism or evangelicalism. The church can deal with them, but not fundamentalism.

    • Hi Kent

      I listened to the panel again to hear the comment in context. I don’t think it was meant to excuse imperfections (and I don’t think you are saying that it was), but, as you say, to somewhat mute the regular criticisms.

      However, there is something in what you say about the inability of a fundamentalism to correct itself. I am working on a response to Dave Doran’s Manifesto(s) that will incorporate something of that idea. I have been laboring at it too hard, I think, trying to deal with his comments in detail. Better to get to the gist of it and give a better response, I hope.

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jeremiah 33.3

  3. Brian Ernsberger says:

    Thanks for posting the messages, Don, the days were great!

  4. Keith says:

    Independency is the problem. Indpendents that are all about separating really have no way to separate — other than from their own church members. They aren’t attached to anything else.

  5. Keith says:

    You know, you’re right, stating the obvious is tiresome and annoying. Sorry.

  6. Keith,

    What you said was totally non-contributive, except as an insult.

    Is there a verse in Scripture for formal association between churches? No. They are independent. How they get along or don’t get along is what we’re talking about.

  7. Keith says:

    I said I was sorry. Although, I must now add, your, “Is there a verse in scripture?” argument is equally non-contributive.

    There is no verse in scripture for the Trinity, for using a pulpit, for new members class prior to immersion in a heated tank, for translating the scriptures, etc. But, I assume you believe in the Trinity and do some of these other things.

    True churches are independent the same way that my pinky is independent of my left leg. They are distinct entities (members) for sure, but they are nevertheless connected parts of one body (see Romans and I Corinthians as a start).

    Additionally, this is not merely true in the indicative sense, it is also true in the imperative sense (see John 17). We are commanded to work to maintain this unity — to keep members from lopping themselves off.

    Of course all of that is largely peripheral to my original point. That point was — you cannot separate from something to which you are not attached. So, if independency is what you claim it to be — there is no such thing as separation. Getting along or not getting along already exist as words and concepts (so do fellowship/lack of fellowship, conversation/cold shoulder, etc.). Separation is a word that implies the severing of a connection. Which, is impossible if there is no connection.

    • Hi Keith,

      Well, Kent is himself a little more … what shall we say? More snarky than usual these days?? See his blog.

      In any case, with respect to ‘separation’, I agree that it isn’t actually being used with respect to its strict dictionary definition. I would prefer words like non-cooperation or something perhaps less unwieldy, but common usage has given us the term separation and I guess we are stuck with it.

      And regarding your ecclesiological statements, you do know that you are espousing a Reformed/Augustinian form of ecclesiology that most Baptists reject, don’t you? 1 Cor 12 cannot be said to refer to the interdependence of churches but of individuals in a local church. There are four imperatives in Jn 17, all directed towards the Father. And so on…

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  8. Keith says:

    Don,

    I don’t have time to get into a long discussion on the matter, but . . .

    Yes, I know that I am espousing an ecclesiology that is rejected by most baptists. And, I have no problem with it being identified with Augustine and the reformed — even though it is an ecclesiology accepted by almost all branches of Christianity other than the anabaptists and baptists.

    As to the rest, does Christ have many bodies and brides or one?

  9. Keith says:

    Huh?

    If the many churches make up the one bride and the one body then how are they not connected?

    • Well, we really don’t have time to go into it here, but the NT is pretty clear that the term ‘church’ almost always refers to a local body. It occasionally has a more universal and eschatological reference that is synonymous with the term ‘body’, but the NT knows of no connection between the individual churches except apostolic authority. That authority has not been passed down to anyone. We have no apostles today.

      Anyway, I really don’t want to get sidetracked on that topic. I think you already know all these things, but if you don’t, read some Baptist works on ecclesiology and you will get more than enough information!

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  10. Keith says:

    I understand that you don’t want to get sidetracked, and I don’t want to go into a huge discussion either.

    Neverthless, I must say that it is quite an assertion to claim that the NT knows of no “Connection” between the churches other than apostolic authority.

    I can see an argument that says the apostles’ office was unique and no one else ever received all of the authority/privilege they had.

    I can see an arguement that says, since there are no more apostles living that we don’t have episcopacy.

    However, for the life of me, I can’t see any basis for an argument that claims NT authority for the absence of any connection between congregations. The NT wouldn’t even be the NT if it weren’t for the connection of sharing the writings — and that’s just one of a number of connections.

    Back to my original point, if there is NO connection then there is NOTHING to worry about in regards to separation — or even non-cooperation as you call it. If you determine that someone is a false teacher, of course you can warn your people away. But other than teaching and warning your congregation about other religions, the other guys are nothing to you, and you are nothing to them.

    Very lonely. Very non-NT it seems.

    Oh well, I’ll still treat you like we’re connected, even if you think we aren’t.

    Peace

    • Well, it’s like this… a long time ago a friend of mine told me that we wouldn’t remember anything from this life in heaven. I laughed at him and told him that when we get to heaven and I walk by him, I’d put one hand to the side of my face and hide my eyes from him, pretending he wasn’t there.

      We can start practicing that now, eh?

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3