For those who were unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1, (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1, Q&A 1, Session Eight, Session 9, Breakout Session 2, Q&A 2). It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.
This conference is first and foremost to help the church. I don’t have any illusions about nonbelievers understanding what we’re talking about. And we’ve said that there are many nonbelievers in this movement. I don’t expect them to understand the truth, to desire it, to have a hunger for it, or to search it out. That’s not what unbelievers do unless they’re being prompted by the Holy Spirit.
But we do want to help the church. We’ve been speaking to the people who believe he Bible is the Word of God and believe God has revealed Himself clearly and consistently and without contradiction. This is for the true church, so that they can discern and be protected from error, and be a source of truth for others outside the church. We’ve been talking to God’s people.
Attacks on the Conference
In the response to this conference in the last number of hours and days, there have been some attacks back. And we’ve been unable to escape them because they show up on the Internet. I want to address those. I want to talk to you from my heart tonight.
The first thing that became obvious was that we were being accused of being unloving. But I would suggest to you that the most loving thing anyone could ever do would be to tell someone the truth. That is how love acts. It is unloving to leave people in darkness and error. We speak the truth in love. And it’s not just talking about the attitude or the tone of voice with which we speak it. To speak the truth in itself is an act of love, to deliver people from error.
In Acts 20 you remember Paul met with the Ephesian elders and he said, I haven’t ceased for three years to warn you with tears, knowing that both from the outside and the inside perverse deceptive men will rise up to lead you astray. In fact, to be a pastor or elder in the church, you have the duty according to Titus 1:9 of being able to point out error. This is how you care for the sheep, how you protect them.