My pastors invited Justin Peters to come to First Baptist Church Weymouth this past weekend to give his Clouds Without Water seminar. This seminar looks at the many deceptions of Charismatic theology, showing Christians how to be more discerning as these teachings creep in to mainstream evangelical churches.
But I’m not here to review the seminar (you can watch most of the sessions on YouTube or order DVDs of it from his website). As worthy as it is of review, I’d like to write a more personal account of the weekend.
Although Justin and I have been friends on Twitter for a couple of years, I went to bed feeling star-struck Friday night. Meeting Michelle Lesley two years ago was exciting, but she’s more on par with me. But Justin Peters? He shares the stage with John MacArthur and gets under the skin of Michael Brown! He’s preached all over the world! He’s (gulp) famous!
John and I arrived at the church just as Justin was concluding his introductory session. I felt shy, so I eased into things by asking to meet his wife Kathy. I adored her instantly (we ended up sitting together throughout the afternoon and again during the Sunday morning service). If she lived here, I’m certain we’d be close friends. I did say hi to Justin toward the end of the break.
After Session I ended, Justin came off the platform on his crutches and greeted me with a hug. Pastor Jeremy wasted no time taking a photo — which (ahem, Jeremy) I still haven’t seen. He and Pastor Alan escorted John, Justin, Kathy and I to the Fellowship Room where the four of us had a private lunch. What a privilege!
We chatted about my journey out of Charismatic theology, about Paul Revere’s house, about how he met Kathy and how I met John. We talked about Beth Moore, and other evangelical celebrities. I can’t remember what else, but it was good fellowship. Pastor Alan returned, and he joined Kathy in taking photos (Kathy prefers being behind a camera).
The afternoon flew by. During breaks I said a few things to Justin, but got really excited to meet Julia, a new Outspoken TULIP reader. She’s the first reader (other than people I already know and Kathy) that I’ve ever met. Pretty cool.
Before and after church yesterday John and I had more time with Justin and Kathy. We were supposed to join them, the pastors and the pastors’ wives for lunch, but the RIDE (which is usually late) arrived early, and the pizza arrived late. John and Jeremy persuaded the driver to give us ten minutes, so everyone graciously let me hog Justin for those final moments.
I have the most generous pastors ever! I hope they know how much I appreciated this weekend. And I hope we honored the Lord.