Chris Anderson, over at My Two Cents, gives several excellent arguments regarding the role of the church in American politics over the last 30 years. Frankly, I agree with him. Chris has summed up nicely what I always wanted to say on the subject.

If Christians believe the Bible is an inspired writing, literally breathed-out by God, then why do some (many, most) Christians treat it like another book on the shelf, giving it a casual glance at best?

Let Piper speak for himself……

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” ~ Psalm 46: 10 – ESV

The phrase “be still” literally translates “cease striving”. In today’s American culture, “cease striving” seems to be an impossible task. In today’s Mexican culture, that task is equally difficult. We started off this morning with a time of worship and prayer, which reminded me of the Lord’s words in this Psalm that He “will be exalted among the nations.” Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi echoes the same thought that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth” (2:10). At times, we are so bound in our narrow view of the church. Its borders do not end in NE Ohio or the U.S., but spans globally beyond cultural, political, and ethnic barriers that we have been accustom to hide behind. His fervent love for His church is not just American affection and the causes we like to get wrapped up in, but it includes every people group, every culture, and every language.

The heavenly worship that John describes in Revelation 4 and 5 is a worship that is focused on the Most High God, His holiness and those giving glory, honor and power to Him have no concern to such barriers. These were just some of my impressions of our time of worship this morning.

I will attempt one more post before our return flight on Friday. This will contain a brief overview the final training strategy and giving them their books.

We are looking forward in getting home, though leaving this gorgeous weather will be difficult. Today’s forecast: 68 degrees and sunny.

This video post really expresses my heartbeat when it comes down to the issue of church music. I believe Paul nails it in his letter to the Colossian church:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

The singing of corporate songs which pleases and honors God rests solidly upon the teaching of truth and how that is displayed in the life of the church and whether or not the lyrical content of those songs are accurately reflect this Truth and teaching about God. This will be my last worship post this week while I am in Ensenada.

Good Afternoon-

It has been a busy of couple days and will give you a brief update regarding yesterday, Tuesday, February 25. I also apologize for the poor grammar & spelling in this post. I have limited time.

The topic of discussion and training was the post-conversion follow-through in the development of a Christian. An article by Corcoris’ on Biblical Follow-Up and Acts 2: 42-47 were key elements in our Socratic discussions. Acts 2:42-47 outlined those elements:
1. Baptism
2. Instruction (vs. 42 – “…they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine”)
3. Fellowship
4. Breaking of bread/Lord’s Supper
5. Prayer

Discussion headed in the direction of the centrality of the local church and how para-church organizations cannot fulfill all of the functions and biblical mandates, especially the area of baptism.

Our afternoon discussion was centered on identifying the cores elements of the Gospel and how many of these elements were presented to us at the time of our conversion. Scripture references that were central to this discussion were 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and Ephesians 2: 1-10.

Though these sound like elementary teachings, these are basic foundation blocks is on going establishment of the church, not only in Mexico, but in the US. As time together progressed through this material, I became more evident to me that our churches in the States in state of repair, much like the condition of wall that Nehemiah found upon his arrival to Jerusalem.

When doing ministry in a foreign setting, planning is necessary, but so is flexibility. (We have given Mexico the nickname of “Flexico”.) We made an unplanned stop at Pastor Ernesto’s new church plant, which is currently going the First Principle study, Becoming a Disciple. This study followed a study on How to Know God. We spent about 20 minutes with them, encouraged them to continue in the faith and prayed with them. That definitely was a highlight thus far to our trip.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to have a late meal at a local restaurant with Octavio Jimenez and his wife. Octavio is a very godly, Biblically minded man who is the very glue that has held this movement of churches together in Ensenada. Octavio has been nothing but encouraging and helpful as we prepared for this trip as well as previous trips. We will be have dinner again with them prior to our departure, this time at their home.

I hope to make another up regarding our training today later this evening or early tomorrow morning before our day begins.

Grace & Peace

Scott

As I continue to intermingle some of Kauflin’s thoughts on worship and music in the church with blog posts from Ensenada, I decide to post one on style. To be honest, I debated whether or not to post this particular video because the entire debate of musical style in the church is nauseating to me. Despite my hang ups over this topic, Bob has some good insight here.

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