by Johnathan Pritchett
Graduate Student, Biola University
SBCToday contributing writer
The buzz phrase “Christ-centered” is all the rage these days. This is especially true with regard to preaching. We often hear it asked, “Is your preaching Christ-centered?” I tend to wince when I hear that. Even the most outspoken people talking about being “Christ-centered” have cheapened the phrase to the point where wincing is about the only option left. I know that sounds bad, but it really can’t be helped. It is like how everyone claims their theological position, on just about every theological issue, is “biblical.” But I will set that one aside for another time perhaps, or not.
Here are a couple of reasons why I tend to wince at hearing someone bloviate about being “Christ-centered” in preaching, or whatever.
J. Ben Simpson, pastor
West Main BC
On Monday, November 4, I shared in an Altar Call Report how even before our “official” revival began, the Lord had already saved three people in our preparation for revival. I then commented that we believed these three were just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, that’s exactly what they were.
During our week of revival, consisting of seven services, we saw the Lord save 14 people and call two other Christians to a renewed walk with Jesus. Including those that were saved leading up to revival, altogether we have seen 17 saved, and we believe there will be more to come in the weeks following our revival.
We baptized one on Sunday, November 3. On Thursday night, November 7, during our revival, we baptized two more of them and plan to baptize three more Sunday, November 10. I can’t wait until all 17 publicly profess their faith in Christ through baptism. Praise the Lord for His grace.
by Ronnie Rogers, pastor
Having led churches to practice church discipline for almost 30 years now, I do not see that the need is any less today than in years past.
Church discipline can be understood as the biblical attitude and actions of the local church that enable her to preserve her submission to the head of the church in holiness, fellowship, testimony, mission and doctrinal purity, with the purpose of maintaining a conducive atmosphere for following Christ and experiencing His presence and power. Church discipline includes the following purposes: redemption, correction, protection, purification and justice. On a practical level, I would further distinguish between non-formal and formal discipline. Non-formal includes all aspects of the biblical teaching and practical application of church discipline up to public involvement of the full church body in either seeking repentance of the sinning brother or sister or removal from fellowship.
Les Puryear, pastor
Bethany Baptist Church
Gulf, N. Car.
During our June VBS, we gathered all attendees into the sanctuary, and I presented the gospel wherein I explained how Jesus takes our sin away.
This was demonstrated by marking my clean white shirt with a magic marker to demonstrate how sin stains our soul. I then had a person representing Jesus come in and he exchanged my sin-stained shirt with a new, clean shirt.
Fifteen children received Christ that day. All glory be to God.
Brad Whitt, pastor
Abilene Baptist Church
Yesterday was a great day at Abilene. The Lord blessed us with 13 who came by baptism, three by letter, and four who recommitted to walk closer to Jesus.