--- Brent Foster <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Subject: Vineyard Churches
> She is seriously considering joining a Vineyard
> Church. She seems to be attracted by the energetic,
> spirit-filled atmosphere of worship, and
> particularly the music. She and I both are involved
> with the music ministry at our church. I don't think
> she knows much about Vineyard, and I didn't either
> until I did a little research. One thing that seems
> to stand out about Vineyard is their emphasis on the
> public display of spiritual gifts, such as healing,
> tongues etc... I'm very skeptical of the public
> display of these kinds of gifts. Not necessarily
> that the gifts exist. But I'm afraid that people
> might be attending these types of services just to
> see a magic show. Of course !
> I've never been to a Vineyard service so who am I to
> I've seen a variety of opinions expressed here on
> miracles, Biblical and modern. I'd love to hear some
> opinions from scientist-Christians on spiritual
> gifts, and if anybody has any personal knowledge or
> experience with Vineyard Churches.
First of all, I'm not a scientist, but a graduate
student in philosophy, just to make that clear.
I'm also attending a Vienyard church north of Chicago,
the Vineyard Community Church in Mundelein. I've only
been in this church since November last year, but from
my experience so far in addition to my experience with
a Vineyard type church in Norway I feel qualified to
respond to your mail.
The theology of the gifts notwithstanding (although I
don't find that very troublesome - of course I don't),
it is not my experience that people come to church to
take on or look at a show. Not at all. There might be
some very peripheral or few guests that have this
motive, but those that regularly attend, those that
are active in the church, do not, as far as I know,
hold to these intentions. Hence, your worry is
I must add that the Vineyard church in Mundelein is
considered to be one of the less charismatic Vineyards
around, so for example there is none or very little
speaking in tongues. That doesn't mean that they don't
allow it, but it is just not encouraged, at least not
in services. In housegroups, on the other hand,
speaking in tongues might occur.
As for your problem with the public display of the
gifts, is that connected with any theological
difficulties regarding the gifts? If not, then I can't
see how you should have any problems with the gifts in
general. If you hold that the gifts, or at least most
of them, are theologically based, then public display
of the gifts follow from that, I assume.
I would be glad to answer more questions.
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