Not every blessing should be turned into a press release 13

Perry Noble apparently didn’t enjoy our 1,000 baptisms in four minutes post a few days ago, and responded in a highly capitalized post yesterday. You can read it all here, but to save you time, here are a few excerpts:

Sure, there ARE people in this world who will question what is happening in your ministry when you begin to celebrate! (AND…keep in mind that MOST of these people have a blog, not a church!!!)

You might imagine that he thinks blogs are a bad thing. Read more about it on his blog.

AND…there are people who will cause others to doubt as to whether or not what is taking place in your church is authentic. (Such as, “there were a lot of salvations reported there…but did they REALLY receive Christ?)

Will he ever name or link to one such person or blog? PP, for one, did not question anyone’s salvation or baptism; it just questioned the adequacy of the preacher’s message before the mass sacrament.

God DID NOT BLESS YOU so that you could BE QUIET ABOUT IT!!!

HE DIDN’T WORK AMONG YOU SO THAT YOU COULD TELL NO ONE!!!

What would Jesus do?

After raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead: “Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.” (Luke 8:56)

After healing a deaf and mute man: “Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone.” (Mark 7:36)

Sometimes God’s work is not for the whole world to see and celebrate. What would feel more special to you? Jesus healing you on a stage in front of video cameras, or Jesus healing you alone in a private room?

Sometimes holy moments should be silent moments.

When Jesus uses us to run up the score on the enemy…a celebration is in order!

As we asked a few days ago, what’s the current score?

When does God get scored on?

13 thoughts on “Not every blessing should be turned into a press release

  1. luke Sep 23, 2009 8:37 am

    i think this is the post that set him off…

    as i know they are part of the same circle.

    http://www.benarment.com/history_in_the_making/2009/09/a-higher-view-of-conversion.html

  2. Ben Sep 23, 2009 9:22 am

    Thank you for the entertainment this morning. I needed this.

    Perry reads this blog….yeah, right.

    What would Jesus do? He wouldn’t tell anyone that people were coming to Him and giving their lives to Christ and definitely wouldn’t tell anyone that these same people went public with their profession of faith. Instead he would probably be very critical that it all happened after a, as you put it, four minute message. I think Jesus would just blog about it.

    “Sometimes God’s work is not for the whole world to see and celebrate.” – Really? When? Why?

    “…more special healing on a stage or in private…” Would it matter? You are being healed!!! I wouldn’t care if it was in the quietness of my own home or on the 50 yard line of Death Valley!

    Are you suggesting that a miracle happened at Newspring? If so, thank you.

    When Jesus healed the deaf man and raised the girl from the dead he told them not to tell anyone. Many believe he did this because it would interfere with his ministry. When he heald the leper he told the leper not to tell anyone. Instead the leper did tell and Jesus was mobbed to the point that he had to leave the city.

    How about these…

    Luke 8: 38-39 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39″RETURN HOME AND TELL HOW MUCH GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

    Philemon 1:6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

    Some of Christs last words on earth were “you will be my witness.” Witness still means that you tell the truth to those who do not know.

    Acts 4:20 “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”

    Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

    As I answered a few days ago, the score is 1,000 more crossing from death to life.

  3. James Downing Sep 23, 2009 10:07 am

    Going through Ben Arment’s blog, he has some really good perspective. He did a follow up to that mass conversion article, which is also nice.

  4. James Downing Sep 23, 2009 10:39 am

    Duncan left out some of the spiciest bits too. Here’s my favorite:

    “Life is too short and hell is too hot for us to live in fear of others who want to criticize what God is doing among us (and then claim to be on the same team!)”

    You get that?

    Criticize Perry = Not Christian.

  5. Tim P. Sep 23, 2009 10:55 am

    I don’t understand why the blog article linked in post 1 would have set him off. He doesn’t mention NS by name and the article is very soberly written and brings up good points, no matter which side of the argument you are on.

  6. Josh Sep 23, 2009 11:16 am

    The problem I have with the “wait and see” criticism of mass conversions is the notion that a person isn’t really saved unless he sticks with it for a year or more. The bible doesn’t teach that every born again person will live a good, moral life. Should we want to see new believers growing in Christ and walking in the Spirit? Of course! But the fact that someone who makes a profession of faith later lives a “bad” life doesn’t prove that the profession was false, any more than the “good” life of someone who puts his faith in a false religion proves that that person is saved.

    What should we do? Preach the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. If a person makes a profession of faith and wants to be baptized, baptize him and rejoice. If he claims to be a believer and walks after the flesh, try to correct him. Show him what the bible says about the manner that believers should live. If necessary, disassociate yourself from him as the bible teaches in the hopes that he will see the error of his ways. But always bear in mind that that person is saved if at all, not by living a good life, but by his faith in Jesus Christ. The fact that some believers don’t walk in the Spirit doesn’t mean we should stop sharing the gospel or add a works component to it.

  7. James Downing Sep 23, 2009 11:22 am

    Josh, I don’t think antone is really srguing that. The problem comes up when you ask the question “Are disciples being made?”. If the person is not continuing their walk with Christ, they are clearly not a disciple, and that is what Jesus told us to go into all the world to make.

  8. Josh Sep 23, 2009 11:37 am

    James Downing,

    I agree there. I was referring more to the article linked in the first comment. Should have made that more clear.

    I also agree that most churches do a really poor job of either clearly presenting the gospel or making disciples. A lot of the seeker churches, even if their doctrine is sound, leave new believers floundering on their own. There is no teaching against sin, little or no encouragement to live a holy life, and only nominal teaching of biblical doctrine. All their eggs are in the evangelism basket, so to speak.

    Other churches teach lots of doctrine, but never clearly present the gospel. If we knew how many lost people live “good” lives and attend church weekly, I think we would be horrified.

    I’m not a pastor, so its easy for me to point this out, and I’m sure it’s not so easy to find that right balance. Still, that balance is what churches need to strive for, IMO.

  9. Paul Sep 23, 2009 2:48 pm

    I have a question. I have been studying the gospel in the last couple of weeks (everyone needs to revisit it as it is so precious). THe central message of the gospel is the penal substitutionary atonement for sins Christ made on teh cross, and that we are justified by faith alone through the righteousness of Christ. Is there any record of Perry preaching about the penal substitutionary atonement ? or any teaching on what exactly is justification by faith? if he has not, that is a big problem.

  10. Tommy F Sep 23, 2009 4:44 pm

    Paul,

    I won’t debate your contention that the “central message of the gospel is the penal substitutionary atonement” (although I would phrase it differently), but I will answer your question (sort of).

    The trouble is Perry is incapable of preaching theologically rich messages and/or thinks they’re utterly unhelpful. If you want a deep pastor, he’ll tell you, more than once, to go somewhere else.

    Deep, Perry is not. He likes to stay in the shallow end. Speaking of shallow water….

    As a case in point, consider his lead-up to set of NS services where they baptized almost 1000 people. What theologically significant sermon led to this??? A full-blown exposition on the importance of baptism? The proper mode? The proper timing? No. No. No. A four minute soundbite “piece” on baptism. If you consider the important role baptism has for baptists (it’s required for membership at NS) and the fact that hundreds were about to participate, then 4 minutes seems extraordinarily fast, short, even insufficient and disingenuous. But, for Perry it was about right.

  11. Laura C Sep 24, 2009 6:39 pm

    Paul and Tommy F –

    For a specific example of one of Perry’s teachings on substitutionary atonement, listen to the “Freedom” sermon from the “Exodus” series.

    He outlined the first instance of substitutionary atonement in Genesis. He also taught on the events in Egypt that are still celebrated at Passover. Finally, he explained that Jesus took our place on the cross, and in doing so, atoned for our sin.

    He repeatedly drives home the point that the penalty for sin is death and that someone or something has to “pay” – not because God is cruel but because he is holy.

  12. Tommy F Sep 24, 2009 10:30 pm

    Laura C

    I’m glad to know that Perry doesn’t always practice what he preaches (or rather preaches deeper than he wants to), but I wonder if his congregation could explain it. In other words, has he taught it enough so that the hearers could articulate it? Is one sermon sufficient to teach people about such an important point?

    Thanks for the tip.

  13. Laura C Sep 25, 2009 12:49 am

    Tommy F –

    I think I was able to articulate it, and I gave you specific Biblical examples. I hope that answers your inquiry.

    Also – I believe that I noted in my post above that I was presenting one specific example that I could recall in detail. I’m sure if you were up for the challenge, you could find many more instances. Perry Noble certainly regularly emphasizes the truth that Jesus Christ took our place on the cross.

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