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Let me start out by saying, I don’t think God has failed… But the way some people talk about ecunenicalism I’m starting to wonder.

This may seen controversial but I’m not too bothered that there are lots of denominations and movements. If God had intended for there to be only one ‘church’ (that is denomination) then things have gone really wrong.

But I’m not sure that is what God intended. As with many things I think the bog issue is pride. There is in fact one church, one bride, one nation. The problem comes when I think only my denomination is that bride. However what having a number of movements, with different ideas (i do think there is limit to how wide these ideas can be for it to be Christian!) Does is to keep us humble.

In fact I’d go so far as to say I think it is God’s intention that there should be differences. Because on that great day we’ll all be standing together, praising God for how he used us in his plans and purposes, in the things we got right and the things we got wrong. And we’ll marvell at how he did this and brought such glory to his Son and his name.

What I think we need to do is fight against pride, to celebrate God’s work in and through people with whom we disagree, to pray thankfully for that work and to enjoy the freedom of conscience our Father gives us.


I’m just listening to a talk by Dave Betts. He asks a very interesting question…

What’s the fruit of an apple tree? Think about it for a moment…

Read the rest of this entry »

I have just been reading a few posts on Tim Chester’s blog (he’s back to his old prolific self again…).

I thought I’d share this quote with you from James Fraser, who was a missionary to China in the early 20th Century. This quote is taken from Territorial Spirits and World Evangelization? (Mentor/OMF, 1999) by Chuck Lowe…

“It is all if and when. I believer the devil is fond of those conjunctions … The Lord bids us work, watch and pray: but Satan suggests, wait until a good opportunity for working, watching and praying presents itself – and needless to say, this opportunity is always in the future.” (Cited 134)

Sorry I haven’t quite kept up with the blogs over the past couple of days. I’ll write one about our time at Church on the Ridge soon.

We are now sitting at the airport waiting to get on a plane to fly home. It’ll be sad leaving the people here (and the sun!) but hopefully we’ll be back soon.

It’s been a good trip – we’ve learned lots, been encouraged, challenged and have lots to think over and talk to our church about. No doubt blogs will follow along those lines…

I’ve just finished eating a Braai and giving a presentation on our Crowded House values. It’s been a good time. The church here at ‘Church on the Ridge’ is very similar to TCH Sharrow Vale, agreement on our values and trying to think how to effectively plant from a larger church setting with the issue of leaders a familiar refrain.

What was exciting was not so much my presentation (not a surprise!) but the discussions after, people trying to think through the issues, the problems, the dangers, their own setting and work out what it is to be the people of God.

I won’t write too much more about it as it’s hard to relate a conversation that lasted a good hour or two (plus the conversations we’ve been having with Sam Groves in the day), but it has been great to work through these things with this church and I do pray there will be great gospel growth as this church looks to how it can grow and reach those in Maritzburg.

Today we headed down to the big shopping centre near Durban called the Pavilion. There we met Grant Retief, who leads a church in Durban at Glenwood. Grant was extremely blunt and helpful (the two can happen at the same time!) with regards to possible future work in South Africa that we might be able to be involved in.
We explained to Grant our desire to be somehow involved with church planting and training of leaders cross-culturally in South Africa. Grant was honest in saying that he was sceptical about how useful we could be in this area. Putting aside issues of colonialism, there are huge issues with regard to culture, he explained. Grant feels that it would take someone coming from the outside around 15 years to truly get to grips with what’s going on in South Africa and understand the cultures. He himself is fluent in Xhosa and yet feels he only has a minimal impact cross-culturally. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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