I will start my comment with full doilcssure: I haven’t (yet) read Mr. Chan’s book, nor viewed the video you reference (my iPhone won’t play Vimeos), nor have I seen or heard any other discussion on his articulations (yet) so I can only comment based on your blog post above and my own understanding/beliefs. I spent the first 34 years of my life attending mainline Church of Christ congregations (including short-term missions trips and missionary/ministry training and a short stint as an interim elder).I’ve spent the last 5&1/2 years attending a charismatic/word-of-faith church (Victory Churches International) including short-term missions and am currently a deacon -board member.a0I agree 100% with your summary of Mr. Chan’s conclusion. The only complaint(s) I have with it is, if your belief holds true to what I was taught growing up, the assertion/assumption that you ate not saved UNTIL you come up out of the water and what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit .a0While the New Testament seems clear that God intends that a typical believer’s conversion story includes immersive water baptism, it is not so clearly laid out that a person who reports to love God with all his heart (etc.) but is not immersively water baptized will surely be sent to hell.I’m not saying baptism is an optional way to express your faith to others -IF you want to . I’m just saying that ALL types of Christians tend to conclude that the way they understand the scriptures is, if not the ONLY way to correctly understand scripture, then certainly the most accurate possible way to understand it.No-one person or group has cornered the market on complete accuracy when it comes to interpreting scripture.a0Two scriptures in particular indicate baptism is not a benchmark for successful entry into heaven: If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you confess with your mouth, you will be saved. a0a0Also, in Jesus’ parable about the sheep and goats, he never referenced baptism as a deciding factor. He said those who lived/behaved a certain way would get in. Those who didn’t (but mistakenly thought they were living the right way) would be rejected.a0For this reason, I’m not critical of my pastor or church for using the sinner’s prayer (especially since my pastor encourages those who say it to get baptized.) I’m also not quick to judge pro athletes, a0entertainers, etc. who thank God for their win/success.Everyone who does believe in God and is trying to please Him is on a journey somewhere between living with the pigs and the prodigal father’s welcome home party. As long as they’re moving along that road I thank God they publicly acknowledge Him and bring positive attention to Him.a0(I don’t hear complaints about these people being hypocrites. It’s the local members/church leadership and national leaders who fall -ie: televangelists, etc. that draw complaints from fringe Christians and church/God-haters.)Now, regarding what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit : I will bet you dollars to donuts without even reading Mr a0Chan’s book that what he means by that statement is not what you think that statement means (if you agree with the mainline Church a0of Christ teaching that I was taught).a0Just as the New Testament is clear that (immersive water) baptism is intended to be part of the Christian experience , so too is it clear that to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with power (from on high). Being filled with the Holy Spirit wasn’t (just) about feeling warm and fuzzy about God, being saved from my sins or that I’ve got a ticket to Heaven.And those who say the gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the Apostles (or with those whom they laid hands on personally) are not reading scripture with both eyes open. They will (usually) readily agree that gifts of hospitality, generosity, administration and teaching are gifts of God (the Bible says so in as many words) and in the same or next sentence deny that prophecy, speaking in tongues, gifts of healing, etc. are also gifts from God. They proudly recall 1 Cor 13 as proof that Spiritual Gifts have ended ( We have the (perfect) Bible now. a0We don’t need Spiritual gifts! ) but they ignore the first half of 1 Cor 12:31 and the second half of 1 Cor 14:1 that we should eagerly/earnestly desire spiritual gifts (especially those) that build up the church.a0It’s not an either/or! It’s a both/and! It’s not a choice between love OR Spiritual gifts! It’s love AND Spiritual gifts! Desire AND use Spiritual gifts IN love. Out of your love for God and others use your Spiritual gifts that God gave you to build up others the church. Laying down your own life for others, considering their needs as well as your own. This is love! And this is impossible unless one has been filled with the Holy Spirit.a0
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