I didn't think Ministries Today could get any better, and then you did! The 2004 articles on the fivefold ministries were excellent. And now the article on denominations ("The Denomination Debate," by Matthew Green, September/October). As a member of the Assemblies of God, I long to see our movement truly embrace what God is doing in younger ministers' lives and create an openness to anointings and ministries that are different than what we are used to so that we can reach across denominational, racial and gender lines to bring us into the true unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17.
Revival Now Ministries
Thanks for the article "The Word on Blogs," by Eric Wilbanks (Ministry Tools, September/October). I used to think blogging supplemented my weekend message. Now I wonder if it's the other way around. Blogging is an amazing tool if we redeem the technology! Thanks for the practical advice!
National Community Church
I was very disappointed to see the photo of an African-American male with the title of the article "Mild or Wild?," by Don Colbert (Ministry Matters, September/October). The article did not mention any particular race, but as an African American myself, I believe it is the responsibility of a magazine to be more sensitive to how races are depicted.
REPLY: It was not our intention to present any race in a negative light through this article or the photo. However, the choice of image was an unfortunate oversight on our part. Thanks for pointing this out to us, and we will strive to do better in this regard.
Judge by the Book
The article "Paying the Price," by Matthew Green (July/August), states that Fred Price's beliefs "don't ring true in a world in which the most vibrant sectors of Christendom are often its most impoverished and persecuted." This statement demonstrates how Pentecostals and Evangelicals use a pragmatic basis for determining theological stances. Scripture clearly refutes the idea that Christians will be free of suffering, Paul repeatedly gloried in his suffering for Christ, and Hebrews is very clear that Jesus suffered in order to become our merciful high priest. Whether or not Christians are suffering isn't the issue, it is what Scripture reveals on the matter. We are to evaluate issues and ministers by the Book not by the fruit.
First Assembly of God
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a sample of the dialogue on denominations from the Ministries Today online pastor's forum at www.ministriestoday.com:
I grew up in the Assemblies of God. Recently, I have been stirred to leave and plant a church. Just curious to see if anyone out there can relate—or has advice or personal experiences to share on this topic.
Do you have issues with the denomination? Everybody needs someone to be accountable to, so keep that in mind.
The Bible teaches not to divide into denominations. Your loyalty should be to Christ. If you are interested in church planting, you should look into starting a house church.
I'm not sure about house churches. We tried the home-group/cell-group type of thing and it was very hard to keep it going. Most home groups die out after two years.
If it's hard to keep a house church going, just think about putting a lot of money into leasing a church building for a year.