Oklahoma Convocation on Discernment and Public Ministry

Update as of May 18th Noon:

Event Date and Time:
June 17th, 2017 10:00 AM

2905 Broadway Court
Edmond, OK 73013
(405) 673-8522

Pastors/Teachers are welcome to attend and bring a guest but every person must RSVP to jeff@jeffbrown.com. You will then receive an official invite by email so that you can register yourself and guests.

It is a closed event in the sense that if you have not registered prior to June 14th you will not be allowed to attend, We hope you do register and plan on coming with brotherly love, a berean spirit, and your bible.

Love in Christ,
Jeff

Why this Convocation?

Because public speech is important and Jesus takes judgment very seriously. When He says "Judge not" in Matthew 7:1-6 He is not telling us to let things slide, but instead, He is warning us to take care how we judge others.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1–5, ESV)

The 5 "Because" Statements

  1. Because of the Internet and free access to so much that is out there in Christendom.
  2. Because our congregations are only going to be more connected, going online with social media and the such and they will be exposed to other public ministries as much or even more than that of their own local church.
  3. Because wolves and danger are everywhere and we are warned about them -“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15, ESV)
  4. Because as pastors we have an obligation to protect the flock - “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28, ESV)
  5. Because we love the Lord Jesus and our flock depends on us to lead in that love. And as pastors, we will give an account for our flock and how we have cared for them -  “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17, ESV)

Some Questions We Will Address:

  1. How much respect do public gospel preachers deserve, if any?
  2. Is it ok to mock, slander and gossip about another gospel preacher and or ministry?
  3. Where does ethics kick in and play a part in our own ministries as we speak publicly about other gospel minsters and/or ministries?
  4. Is there any honor that is due to men of God who have public gospel ministries.
  5. How do we discern what doctrines are absolute non-negotiable and which ones can we agree to disagree (and/or maybe even separate on) but still call each other a brother?
  6. What standard do we judge another person's teaching and/or public writings?
  7. If heresy and/or false doctrine is suspected, what is the procedure to judge in a fair and just manner?
  8. As saved sinners, where are we accountable for our public speech?
  9. As pastors, where and when are we accountable for our public speech? Knowing full well that our flock is watching and taking note.
  10. Who has authority to take the charges and address any issues that are found?

Statement of Affirmation and Denial**

We affirm
  1. We are called to discern and judge people who claim to be Christians: “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthians 5:12, ESV)*
  2. We affirm that when we have a grievance against a brother (even a public brother or sister) we assemble and settle the matter with a group of saints and not in the public eye. (1 Cor 6:1-6)* 
  3. We are to judge with a fair and just standard for all brothers and sisters, just as we would want them to do to us:  “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2, ESV)
  4. If a ministry is to be judged, then the bulk of the discernment will be from the writings and sermons of the pastor/teacher himself.
  5. We are to be quick to believe innocence and very thorough before pronouncing guilt.  “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, ESV)
  6. That "Theological Triage" is the most grace-filled way that we can (as pastors) determine where some gospel minister or gospel ministry fits on the heresy/false doctrine scale.
  7. The aim is always for restoration and not condemnation of a brother “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11, ESV)
We deny
  1. That any ministry is "too big to fail"
  2. That any public gospel minister is beyond criticism and are deserving of a "public pass"
  3. That all doctrines are all such that we can agree to disagree and everyone remains a brother or sister.
  4. That any public minister/ministry if they are to be tested, should be judged mostly on hearsay and/or third party information
  5. That the Scriptures teach us not to judge.
  6. That we are beyond examination ourselves and are without sin, pride, & hypocrisy and can judge without first examining ourselves
  7. That there is no way we can reasonably come to an agreement on most public ministries and their leaders

The Particulars (no pun intended :-)

Who is invited?

This meeting is mostly for Pastors/Elders to participate. However, several have asked if they can bring a friend and the answer is yes. Please come with a generous Berean spirit and with a Bible (laptop, iPad) in tow and we are going to have some fun together. 

Who is the primary contact?

Jeff Brown
Cell (405) 641-7808
Email: jeff@jeffbrown.com 

What are we eating?

We are catering Earl's BBQ and there is no cost, however, you will need to RSVP because we need to know how much food to get and if you have special dietary needs please email me ASAP.

What does the Schedule look like?

We will start promptly at 10:00 AM and have three main sessions with a 10-minute break in between. Our goal is to discuss the questions above, search the Scriptures together and see where we can find common ground and where we can respectfully agree to disagree on these issues. 

  • 10:00 Session One - 15 Minute overview with remaining time for discussion
  • 11:00 Session Two - Theological Triage - is it biblical and should we use it? (we will discuss alternatives and the pros/cons of it)
  • 12:00 Lunch - Earl's BBQ Catered (if you have special dietary needs please email me ASAP)
  • 13:00 Session Three - Affirmations and Denials - What can we agree on?
  • 14:00 Q/A and Final Comments 
Looking forward to meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

Love and Blessings in Christ
Jeff


*For this meeting, we are going to assume yes - the debate on whether or not this is a local church/universal church issue is a question for another time.


**No one will be asked to sign anything, nor does your coming equate an endorsement of Grace Pointe Baptist Church, Pastor Jeff Brown, or any public ministries that we have made affirmation statements towards.

Event Page: https://faithlife.com/oklahoma-convocation-on-discernment-and-public-ministry

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