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Author Topic: In the multitude of churches there is safety  (Read 5944 times)
soul dreamer
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« on: November 10, 2006, 05:13:50 am »

I was reading the Proverbs today and something stood out to me in a different way.    The proverb is “For by wise counsel you shall make your war: and in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6).  There are various counselors.  Twelve years ago when I was praying about marrying my wife Donna, I counseled with the leading brothers in the assembly who knew both of us quite well.  Three years ago as I was buying a house, the elders in my present church only had a little of useful advice, but two guys at work shared a lot about different mortgage programs and told me what they thought was best.  After consideration I went with the two coworkers’ advice -- although they are not known as spiritual people. 

As I am now considering retiring, taking my pension, and moving across the country, I have been thinking a lot, “In what kind of church shall my family finally be involved?”  And this morning as I read the proverb above I was impressed with the thought, “In the multitude of churches there is safety.”

Looking back over my life, I am thankful that I have been involved in several different churches. In 1979 when I was 22 I was going to a church meeting every night of the week and to three different meetings on Sundays (all meetings in the assembly, and to either Calvary Chapel or the Vineyard on Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights).  Looking back, although sometimes the assembly culture was legalistic, still today I appreciate that I am familiar with a lot of the Bible, and I still enjoy singing a lot of the hymns.  And looking back at my past experience with Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard churches, now I am glad that I had the courage of my convictions to keep examining both the beliefs and the “culture” of the assembly as well as various aspects of those other churches – and I kept visiting them over the years.

Most of you probably know that the Vineyard churches emphasize the charismatic gifts of the Spirit.  I think I was sometimes known in the assembly as a rather free spirited brother who sometimes had a different opinion.  I sometimes found myself over the years quoting Romans 14:5 regarding autonomy and John 3:8 regarding spontaneity to the leading brothers.
 
Rom. 14:5 - Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind.
 
Jn. 3:8 - The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
 
In the charismatic church I was known as a serious disciple who had a good grip on the scriptures.  In 1998 I moved on from the assembly, was in a community church for two years, and then moved again to my present church that seems to me to have some of the best of all the former churches: the pastors strongly preach holiness from the pulpit, but they do not legislate or micromanage people’s lives.  They sing hymns with a little musical accompaniment, but they also sing a lot of contemporary choruses.  They are also charismatic - mildly so, but they encourage people to move in the gifts of the Sprit.

The assembly that I was in disbanded in the spring of 2003.  I have heard from time to time that some of former members are not presently involved in any church.  And some have realized rather late in their Christian walks that there is greater liberty in Christ than what they experienced in the assembly.  So, “In the multitude of churches there is safety.”  At some point in our Christian walks – maybe earlier is better -- it is good to take time to “cross the aisle and sit in a different pew” and examine the beliefs and “cultures” of other churches.  Maybe the one we are presently in is not the best for us after all.
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outdeep
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 02:29:49 am »

Neat word, Rick.  Thanks.

May I ask where you are thinking of moving across the country?  Will we be neighbors?

-Dave
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soul dreamer
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 02:59:15 am »

I am turning 50 next May, and especially since I have a state pension available at that age, I am planning on retiring from the water district where I work.  The Lord willing, I plan on selling my house here in Corona, CA, and  - living on my pension and the interest on the money from the home sale - touring the states for a year with my family in an RV, visiting various churches, ministries, museums, national parks, and friends like you, Dave.  Then we shall probably buy property either in Kansas City, Missouri, where my brother Larry and his family is assisting in mentoring ministerial students, or in Dallas where Donna and I could take turns volunteering at a native missionary/church planting organization called Gospel For Asia.  The main emphasis of our lives though shall be home schooling our 4 kids.  Perhaps after a year or two of establishing our "base" in the US, we might venture abroad.  For only $200 per month a family can live very comfortably in Bangalore, India; $600 per month in Bosnia - we have friends and ministry opportunities in these places.

It may be a trite verse to some, but I still praise the Lord for:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).

And:  “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah” (Ps. 47:4).
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 05:48:18 am »

Rick---

That's amazing---retiring at 50 huh? I'm glad you're going to use the time the way you are. I'm 51 and much less wise. I'll need to work well into my 60's I think. Jer. 29:11 really is a blessed verse though--thanks for sharing.

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