Dear ITEM Partner,
It’s Friday, a day off before traveling back to Nairobi on Saturday. I’ve been catching up on some sleep, packing, catching up on the picture album, and just met a missionary friend of Pastor Dalmas. It’s moving on 6pm so I’ll put together an additional report about the seminar and a couple of other things, then it will be time for dinner and final prep before leaving in the morning.
NATHAN THE PRACTITIONER
I mentioned yesterday that I am more of the teacher/theologian, Nathan is the practitioner. I wear the collared shirt with the button-down collar (and maybe a tie). Nathan wears sandals and an untucked polo shirt. I hold the Bible, walk around, read, explain, and apply the text. Nathan puts everyone into groups and makes them discuss questions and come up with answers.
Yesterday I was teaching through Romans (the whole book in 30 minutes) and in chapter 14 it gives guidelines on how to deal with situation where instructions are not clear in the Bible. I used the way a woman is to dress as an example. How high up the leg can the hem of her skirt go? The Bible says it’s a personal matter. She needs to deal with it honestly before God.
Q: So, I got a question asking for more clarification on this.
ANS: I mentioned 1 Tim 2:9, a woman is to dress modestly and discretely. But there are no specifics mentioned.
NATHAN: When Nathan got up, he got practical. He quoted someone else who said, “When you are going to church, get dressed, look in the mirror and ask yourself the question, ‘Would I dress like this if I was going to meet Jesus?'”
GOOD, PRACTICAL QUESTION! (For all of us?)
Nathan was giving the lecture on the role of the pastor and part of his role is to be an example to the church. They are to watch him and imitate his faith (Heb 13:7). So, Nathan put his thumb on his forehead and said, “Put your thumb on your chin.” (His thumb was on his forehead.) 90+% put their thumb on their forehead. He used this as an example of how people follow examples regardless of what they hear.
Other questions from yesterday:
Q: We are the children of Abraham. So, can’t we claim the promises given to Abraham’s children that were given to them in the Old Testament, including Jeremiah 29:11 (plans for welfare, a future, hope) and Deut 18 (i.e. “obey and receive blessings”)
ANS: (Short version) Those promises were given to Abraham’s physical children and Jeremiah 29 has already been fulfilled. Others are yet to be fulfilled. A different set of promises have been given to his spiritual children. Those are listed throughout the New Testament. Regarding Deuteronomy 18. Those promises were made to a nation; God’s chosen people, the Jewish people. The New Testament in Ephesians 1:3 tells us we have ALREADY received every spiritual blessing. 2 Peter 1:7 tells us He has ALREADY given us all things to life and godliness.
OBEDIENCE IS LINKED TO GRATEFULNESS
In a private conversation with the questioner, he admitted he wanted to see the blessings and asked if we shouldn’t expect material blessings for obedience like Abraham’s flock? He was very teachable and realized he was falling into the trap laid by. The trap says we have to do good to be blessed. I told him that is backwards. We obey in response to the blessings he has already granted. I reminded him of the outline of Ephesians. Chapter 1, you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Chapter 2, you were dead in sin and God made you alive in Christ, by grace through faith. Eph 4:1, “Therefore…walk worthy.”
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
One person who was at the seminar was from another church but was not the pastor. Just a leader from the church. This person talked to Pastor Dalmas and said, “After this seminar, I can see that the church I am attending and the pastor are way off track. What should I do?” Dalmas said the right thing: “Pray.” He didn’t want to be accused of sheep stealing by inviting this person to his church.
A MAJOR INFLUENCE WORLD WIDE
In the picture album, I included a picture of the local branch of Winner’s Chapel.” The founding pastor is a wealthy false teacher. Branches can now be found in 65 countries, including the United States. Here is how it all started. More info is in the caption that is with the picture in the picture album.
From Wikipedia: The beginnings of the church date from May 1981 when Oyedepo (aged 26) had a spiritual encounter. He claims to have an eighteen-hour supernatural encounter which was a vision from God. He says God spoke to him saying, “Now the hour has come to liberate the world from all oppressions of the devil, through the preaching of the Word of faith; and I am sending you to undertake this task”. In 1983, the church began operating with four members on December 11
I put a picture of a pair of trousers in the picture library. They are very special to me. See why in the caption.
TOMORROW and SUNDAY
Tomorrow I will leave at 10am leaving a LOT of time to get back to airport for my 5pm flight back to Nairobi. I’ve been told it can be up to two hours getting across the water in a car, on the ferry. Then Sunday I’ll travel to the DRC to meet with our team leaders for a few hours.
Thanks for praying.
By His grace,