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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Vineyard - its contribution and its future?
Polly

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@ Gamaliel

The way you present your observations is incorrect.

the influence of Charismatics upon Baptists was one of my assignments at college 4 years ago and Vineyard had next to influence upon Baptists.

Nigel Wright looked at joining New Frontiers and the point you make about him wanting to remain a Baptist was that he firmly believed the Holy Spirit could do as much within the Baptist framework as outside of it. He was quite clear about this in his lectures!

Also you mention that the charismatic scene became a spent force within mainstream churches but this was far from the reality of what was happening.

In regards to Wimber he certainly inspired many Baptists but he had little influence over them and I think this is an important distinction to make.

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Polly

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sorry to double post...

the sentence should read that Vineyard had next to no influence over Baptists.

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Gamaliel
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I respectfully disagree.

Nigel Wright may have toyed with joining NFI. He also seems to have toyed with joining what was then Harvestime.

I used to be in a Baptist church which had a strong Vineyard influence upon its modus-operandi ... particularly in its early days as a church plant. This was modified and ameoliorated to a large extent when they got a minister and things evened out in a more 'Baptist' direction - which pleased me, I must admit as I much preferred the Baptist way of doing things.

So no, sorry, I don't accept that the influence of the Vineyard, NFI or Ichthus or any of the other 'new churches' on the Baptists was negligible. Far from it. In fact, some of them, as I've highlighted earlier, defined themselves in those very terms. The Baptists weren't calling the shots at all.

Eventually, as it seems to me, they rallied and became confortable in their own skins which is only right and proper.

And of course the charismatic strand in the traditional denominations wasn't dead in the water in the early 1980s ... it only appeared that way to those of us who'd jumped ship for the exciting new 'new churches'. The reality, of course, was somewhat different.

I thought I'd made that clear.

In any event, from a 'new church' perspective - which is the one I would have had at that time (1984), it did appear that the Vineyard visits and their collaboration with Anglican and Baptist charismatics reaffirmed or reinvigorated the charismatic scenes in those respective traditions.

That, I would still maintain, was one of the contributions the Vineyard made. They convinced some on the 'new church' side of things that it was perfectly possible and acceptable to do these things without having to hive off to join NFI or Harvestime/Covenant Ministries, Pioneer or whoever else.

That's the point I'm making.

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Gamaliel
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I think thee and me might have a different definition of accuracy, Truman.

I know whose version I prefer.

[Razz]

You've got pcckets full of holes.

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Polly

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@Gamaliel

The point I am making is that Vineyard in the UK was non-existent until 1987 when the Mumfords started the movement here.

Wimber wasn't interested in creating a Vineyard from North America and it was only when David Watson urged the Mumfords to go and see Wimber that they felt the call from God to build this movement called Vineyard UK.

Vineyard was not originally part of the R1 & R2 groups because it came along much later and by that time Baptists had already been influenced by the likes of NFI (mainly where a number of Baptist Churches became both part of NFI and held onto their Baptist Union identity).

Gerald Coates and Pioneer would have been influential too and I am sure Baptists and other mainstream churches looked at the various new movements springing up but Vineyard simply was not one of these especially at the beginning of the charismatic scene.

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Komensky
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quote:
Originally posted by Truman White:
@Gamaliel wrote

if I had a fiver for every duff prophecy I've heard I could retire tomorrow

And if I had a fiver for every accurate one I heard I could pay for it.

[Killing me]

Prove it.

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Gamaliel
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I remember talk of the Vineyard planting churches here as early as 1984. It didn't happen immediately but it was clearly on the cards right from the word 'go' and there were various people who offered to help and support such an initiative - including some Baptists I knew.

So yes, I agree in principal but not in the detail and yes I am well aware that the Vineyard wasn't part of the R1/R2 scene because I was involved with that at the time and the attitude towards the Vineyard was quite mixed.

Some even articulated the view that Wimber was going against 'what God wanted' by strengthening the hand of the charismatics in the older denominations. The party-line in R1 at that time (far less in R2) was that the charismatics in the Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Salvation Army and wherever else ought to leave their denominations and join with us.

There were also some concerns about the Wimber methodology and the apparent belief that Christians could suffer from demonic oppression ... that was something we were always reticent about.

The point I'm trying to make is that the Vineyard (alongside other influences no doubt) made a significant contribution at that time in strengthening the position of those charismatics who wished to remain within the traditional denominations - mainly Anglicans, but also Baptists to a certain extent.

I'm not saying the Vineyard was the only influence or the only game in town - I've already mentioned David Pawson, I've already mentioned Spring Harvest.

What I'm saying is that collectively all these influences helped to strengthen and maintain the momentum of the charismatic renewal within the traditional denominations at a time when some were expecting it to dissipate or the action to move almost exclusively towards the 'new churches' - whether R1 or R2.

And yes, you are right about NFI and those Baptist churches who were part of that whilst retaining their Baptist identity. They too, were part of the overall equation.

My point isn't about the beginning of the charismatic renewal but how the Vineyard helped to bolster and give a boost to what was already there.

I suppose what I ought to say really, was that the influence of the Vineyard - alongside the growing importance of Spring Harvest - effectively put the kibbosh on 'R1' claims of exclusivity by showing that not all the putative action was taking place there.

I would also reiterate my point that the Baptist charismatics I came across latterly did seem to have a Vineyard 'flavour' to them - although I'm sure there were plenty of Baptists around who could have been described as having a Pioneer flavour or an Ichthus flavour or an NFI flavour.

Heck, there were even some around with a Baptist flavour ...

Perhaps I'm not explaining myself very well but certainly from the outside the Baptists at that time looked more responsive than pro-active, lapping up influences from the newer outfits rather than developing anything distinctive of their own. This may very well have been a misconception, but this is how it looked from outside and I remember a quite snarky article in 'Christianity' magazine in the late 80s or early 90s which suggested the same.

However, I would argue that there was a renewed confidence among the Baptists from about 1990 onwards and that this continues to this day as far as I can see.

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I respectfully disagree.


So would I. From 1985-1995 I attended a charismatic Baptist church. It clearly had strong Wimber influences, including 'Power Evangelism' etc. (I survived, and live to tell the tale...)
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Gamaliel
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Komensky, I rather suspect that thee and me would be waiting for Truman to cough up for some considerable time to come ...

How long have you got?

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Komensky
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Run away from anything in church preceded by the word 'Power'. Yes Gamaliel, but alas, I don't have much time tonight, off to the airport in the morning.

I certainly accept that there are sacred mysteries and that God is present in this world (among other places, in the Eucharist every Sunday). In fact, God's omnipresence is only made ridiculous by the talk of 'God is moving here' or 'God is doing something new here'. The idea that God might be here and not there seems silly to me. "I sense the presence of the Spirit' and the such, so easily recreated by a street magician. God is present by his Spirit, that's it, you don't get to do anything about it. No amount of incense or bells or worship songs or falling over can change Him.

It's quite one thing to believe in something that cannot be proven, but it's quite another to insist on something that is demonstrably untrue. I wonder what the Pentecostals of the 1910s would think of how far the goalposts have moved in a mere century; they were sure that their 'tongues' were languages, certain that they had the power to heal people, certain they had the power of prophecy. I can recall Fr Raniero Cantalamessa saying, "hand the reins to God, even if you think you will soon ask for them back, they are his". We simply don't have his power, stop pretending that you do—so many people are hurt by this.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
In any event, from a 'new church' perspective - which is the one I would have had at that time (1984), it did appear that the Vineyard visits and their collaboration with Anglican and Baptist charismatics reaffirmed or reinvigorated the charismatic scenes in those respective traditions.

That, I would still maintain, was one of the contributions the Vineyard made. They convinced some on the 'new church' side of things that it was perfectly possible and acceptable to do these things without having to hive off to join NFI or Harvestime/Covenant Ministries, Pioneer or whoever else.

Can I offer my observations? At the time (early 1980's) I was in a Baptist church, which had strong links with the local "new church" organisations. At times, it looked as if we were going to be forced into a decision to either stay in the BUGB or "go over" to the new network (we were wavering between Tony Morton's outfit in Southampton and some sort of link with people associated with Gerald Coates).

The point was that, as far as the local BU people were concerned, we had to do one or the other. We couldn't stay in the BU and be such a charismatic church. And the message we were getting from the likes of Tony Morton was that we ought to make the leap any way, because the "old" denominational structures were dying and "God was doing a new thing".

So at that point, it certainly seemed as if the only way for charismatic congregations to go was outside denominations into the apostolic networks.

What certainly seems to have happened (from my perspective, anyway) is that this began to change around the time that Wimber et al started to become a big name in the UK. It gradually became easier to be charismatic and yet still stay in your denominational structures. How much Vineyard should be credited with this is hard to say. But they were certainly at the forefront of a sea-change in attitude.

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Gamaliel
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Oscar, you have said very succinctly what I have been clumsily trying to say all along in this thread.

I was up north and nowhere near Tony Morton's outfit (although we had links and he often came up to preach until there was an eventual rift between him and the Harvestime boys).

What you describe is exactly what was happening up north at that same time. Many Baptists were wavering on the brink of casting in their lot with the restorationists. Many did. restorationist The church I was in up there was swelled by substantial intakes of Baptists from two churches which split over the issue.

If you read Nigel Wright's accounts you'll see that he was similarly torn and in a quandary.

My guess would be that Polly heard his lectures after that time once Wright had recovered a sense of his own Baptist identity and was comfortable with that.

For my money, Wright's is one of the wisest heads from way back then. Ok, there were some daft things at Ansdell Baptist in its early charismatic days and some later out-workings of that were particularly fruit-cake-y ...

But Wright himself steadied his own way by drawing on the wells of his own tradition.

I think there was a definite sea-change in thinking from around 1984 onwards and I think the Vineyard did contribute in no small way towards that ... but theirs wasn't the only voice around, of course.

By about 1990 the thoroughly authoritarian and exclusivist phase of the restorationist thing had all but run its course. By about 1994 when the Toronto thing came along most of the restorationist churches - with the possible exception of New Frontiers were coming virtually indistinguishable from any of the independent charismatic groups or the charismatics among the Free Churches - such as the Baptists.

There were further developments in the late '90s with a move towards more liberal positions and post-evangelicalism in some sectors.

Things move on.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Polly

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@Gamaliel & Oscar

The distinction between Wimbers ministry and that of the Vineyard Church Movement in the UK must be made.

Many churches including Baptists were drawn into the charismatic scene through Wimbers ministry. Terry virgo speaks about how Wimbers ministry encouraged him and others in the early days of New Frontiers.

But it is not correct to speak of a Vineyard Church Movement having influence at the time because it did not exist at the time and was only a fledgling movement in the very late 1980's not 1984 like you mentioned because Wimber rejected the idea consistently of Vineyard coming to the UK

The story of Vineyard and the Mumfords can be read using the website below.

http://www.vineyardchurches.org.uk/resources/an-introduction-to-the-mumfords/6/

By the time Vineyard had begun NFI and other charismatic streams were established. For Baptists churches were already on the path to exploring or either joining one of these movements.

What's more if you read McBain or Harper then there is no acknowledgement of Vineyard Churches being on the scene.

What is probably more true is that since the 1990's Vineyard has had an influence and quite a big one on main stream churches but only since then.

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Gamaliel
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Polly, I was there. I distinctly remember discussions about the Vineyard planting churches in the UK from the time of the first Wimber team visits in 1984.

It was pretty obvious even then that there would be Vineyard churches operating in the UK within a few years. And so it turned out.

The Wimber team visits of 1984 have been strangely overlooked, in Nigel Wright's opinion (and I could cite the references if it would help).

Whatever one thinks of what went on they were certainly significant and were regarded as such at the time.

I haven't picked all of what I'm saying out of books and articles. I was there. I was involved. I heard discussions about these things. I heard leaders discussing these things. I heard Baptist leaders discussing these things as well as 'new church' ones.

In broad terms, yes, I agree with you - there was a momentum going on within the Baptists and others that wasn't dependent on Wimber nor was it dependent on NFI or Pioneer or any of the others .... but as Oscar says, for a time in the early '80s it did indeed look - in many parts of the country - that this was being eclipsed by the seemingly inexorable rise of the 'new churches'.

It was partly - and I said partly - down to the Wimber team visits in 1984 and subsequent events within the 'denominational scene' - as we would have called it back then - that the Baptists and others were able to ride this out and to stick to their guns for charismatic renewal within their own settings rather than being tempted to hive off into the new churches.

I repeat. I.was.there. I.was.involved.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Oscar the Grouch

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Likewise for me....

I don't want to get too specific about who influenced what; all I can say (as someone very much involved at the time) was that in 1982/3 it looked as if our church was going to have to leave the BU and join an apostolic network.

By the time I left the scene (at the start of the 90's), such pressures (both from the denomination and from the apostolic networks) were receding.

WHY this happened is - of course - entirely open to debate. All I can say is that by the time I left the church (on my journey into Anglicanism), I was very much aware of Wimber (although I never heard him speak). And I was aware that he was bringing a very different perspective to that of the likes of Tony Morton or Gerald Coates (both of whom I heard on a number of occasions).

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Polly

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@ Gamaliel

Sorry old chap but saying you was where qualifies what?

You were in discussions with john Wimber and Baptist leaders from BUGB who discussed this? Part of the group led by David Coffey??

The irony is that you want to argue with a Baptist Minister who has studied the particular issue of the development of charismatics and Baptists as part of my degree studies.

Secondly the Vineyard history is well documented on their website and also in recent Christianity Magazines all stating that Vineyard UK did not begin as a movement until 1987.

So yes I doubt whatever you felt you were part of in 1984 wasn't actually the discussions of Vineyard becoming a church movement in the UK because the Mumfords were still in Anglican ministry and moved in circles with Sandy Millar and Michael Harper in 1984.

Wimber is well documented in saying that he didn't want to start a Vineyard UK and even tried to persuade the Mumfords not to do this (see the previous weblink).

Lastly it is more accurate to speak about Wimber's ministry influencing British Charismatics. In general this is true for Anglicans and Baptists but as I have said before there is no evidence that there was widespread influence from the Vineyard Churches in the UK at least until the very late 1980's and more specifically from 1990's because they didn't exist as a movement. In fact the first real influence that came from Vineyard from 'over the pond' was with the Toronto blessing.

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Gamaliel
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Polly, sorry old chap, but I wish you'd actually read what I'm saying.

Wimber himself might not have intended to set up a UK operation in 1984 but there was certainly an expectation that he would. Heck, I even remember hearing some new church leaders who wouldn't have ordinarily been disposed to such an initiative saying publicly that they would support such an initiative and that they'd even contacted him to offer help and support.

Of course I wasn't personally in discussions about all of that - all I'm saying is that there was certainly an expectation over here at that time that this is what would happen. Even if Wimber himself wasn't intending to follow it through at that time.

There's also a difference, I would suggest, between an operation like the Vineyard having boots on the ground in terms of actual churches and exerting some form of influence. I would suggest that the Vineyard was exercising some influence - certainly in style and ethos - before the Mumfords got the thing underway over here in the formal sense.

The Mumfords couldn't have got started if the influence hadn't been there in the first place.

It's a bit like the influence of US-style camp meetings on the early Primitive Methodists in the early 19th century. A chap called Lorenzo Dow was over here and influenced the thinking of Hugh Bourne and William Clowes. That doesn't imply that there was any formal links between the Prims and the US frontiers-revivalists, simply that there was an influence on their development and ethos.

I'm simply suggesting that it was the same with the Wimber visits of the mid-1980s.

Did you actually read any of Nigel Wright's accounts for your thesis? If you had done so I think you'd find that the Vineyard element is given prominence.

The irony is that I don't want to argue at all. I am simply speaking as I found about events where I was a witness and - to some extent - a participant.

If you want to get all hoity-toity and 'I'm a Baptist Minister and I've written a thesis' with me then that's fine, that's up to you.

But I was there. I SAW it.

It's a bit like the two South African lads I once met who said that they'd heard De Klerk (I think it was) on the radio saying that there were no South African troops in Namibia. They heard this as they were in a South African armoured troop carrier heading across the Namibian desert.

As I've said further up-thread, I don't dispute the broad thrust of your thesis, nor do I discount the influence of Coffey or Pawson or McBain or any other Baptist. Far from it.

I think you'll find that my comments about the Baptists have been positive on this thread (and elsewhere) and that I've been endorsing the position of those who chose to remain within the BUGB rather than abandoning it for the ostensibly brighter lights of restorationism.

Oscar the Grouch and I were eyewitnesses of all that.

Read my lips. I.did.not.say.that.the.Vineyard.movement.started.iin.the.UK.before.1987.

What I said was that the Wimber visits - the Wimber visits - got that? VISITS - V.I.S.I.T.S - had a significant impact (among other factors) on subsequent developments.

Nigel Wright acknowledges that.
Anyone else involved acknowledges that.

Polly doesn't because he doesn't want to admit that there are gaps in his analysis.

Tough.

I was there. I saw it. End of.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Polly

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@ Gamaliel the difficulty is that not just on this thread but on others you change your tune when you realise your facts are not quite correct.

For example...

earlier in this thread you state

quote:
I distinctly remember discussions about the Vineyard planting churches in the UK from the time of the first Wimber team visits in 1984.
and then on your last thread

quote:
Read my lips. I.did.not.say.that.the.Vineyard.movement.started.iin.the.UK.before.1987.
Can you decide what your opinion is because there simply was no talk of Vineyard churches in the UK from Vineyard until 1987. I will admit that British Charismatics expressed a desire that there was but that is very different.

My line has always been just so you are clear....

quote:
Lastly it is more accurate to speak about Wimber's ministry influencing British Charismatics.
and not Vineyard Church in the UK which is what you have been stating all along until you corrected yourself in your last post

quote:
Did you actually read any of Nigel Wright's accounts for your thesis? If you had done so I think you'd find that the Vineyard element is given prominence.


Sat in his lectures for 3 years, read his books and even talked to him about the way he still considers himself a charismatic and that he did more than "toy" with the idea of joining NFI because he actually went with Mike Wood (Streatham in London) to enquire about joining NFI.

What you are failing to listen to both from my suggestions and EM is that although many Baptists went to see Wimber the drive for Charismatic identity happened mainly from within Baptists.

quote:
I was there. I saw it. End of.
The other niggle I have is that you are stating your own experience as the general experience for the whole whereas I see it more as the minority to what really happened.

In addition the time line for who influenced who and when has repeatedly shown your facts are incorrect but then again I don't expect someone who thinks 6 weeks (shore leave) is only 6 days to grasp that.

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Higgs Bosun
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There seem to be two different questions here:

A) Did Wimber and his team from Vineyard Church in the USA have a significant influence on Baptist charismatics in the middle 80's?

B) What influence did the Vineyard UK Church (Mumfords et. al.) have on Baptist charismatics (inevitably post-1987)?

Polly seems to be addressing (B), while Gamaliel addresses (A).

I'm with Gamaliel in observing (from my own experience) that the answer to (A) is "at least some influence".

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Polly

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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:
There seem to be two different questions here:

A) Did Wimber and his team from Vineyard Church in the USA have a significant influence on Baptist charismatics in the middle 80's?

B) What influence did the Vineyard UK Church (Mumfords et. al.) have on Baptist charismatics (inevitably post-1987)?

Polly seems to be addressing (B), while Gamaliel addresses (A).

I'm with Gamaliel in observing (from my own experience) that the answer to (A) is "at least some influence".

A fair assessment but I have also stated that Wimber did have an influence at the time but more as part of his (global) ministry rather as head of Vineyard trying to start a movement in the UK.
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Polly

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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:
There seem to be two different questions here:

A) Did Wimber and his team from Vineyard Church in the USA have a significant influence on Baptist charismatics in the middle 80's?

B) What influence did the Vineyard UK Church (Mumfords et. al.) have on Baptist charismatics (inevitably post-1987)?

Polly seems to be addressing (B), while Gamaliel addresses (A).

I'm with Gamaliel in observing (from my own experience) that the answer to (A) is "at least some influence".

A fair assessment but I have also stated that Wimber did have an influence at the time but more as part of his (global) ministry rather as head of Vineyard trying to start a movement in the UK.
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Gamaliel
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On the contrary, Polly, you don't appear reading what I wrote but what you think I wrote.

I do remember hearing discussions about whether Wimber and his team would plant churches in the UK in 1984 - and in subsequent years leading up to 1987 when that finally started happening.

Discussions isn't the same as it actually happening. There appeared to be a widespread expectation at that time - and not only in the 'new church' circles in which I moved but among certain Baptists I knew - that a Vineyard church planting initiative in the UK would be very welcome.

The fact that this didn't happen until 1987 doesn't mean that there wasn't speculation and discussion about it beforehand. Heck, I distinctly remember the issue being raised in one of the 'fireside chats' or 'family-conferences' as church meetings were called in the restorationist churches back then. The question was asked what the position of the leadership would be should a Vineyard church open up in our area.

This was a few years before 1987. The Vineyard wasn't operational in the UK at that time but its influence was clearly felt.

I am not back-pedalling at all. Simply correcting your apparent inability to read my posts properly.

I'm glad I wasn't your thesis supervisor ...

So I stand by this quote:

Read my lips. I.did.not.say.that.the.Vineyard.movement.started.iin.the.UK.before.1987.

Can't you see the difference between things being mooted and discussed prior to 1987 and them actually starting in 1987?

Read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.

Your admission that UK charismatics expressed a desire for there to be Vineyard church plants in the UK prior to 1987 is exactly what I was saying. I have never said anywhere in this thread that there were Vineyard churches in the UK before that time. Nowhere have I suggested as much.

What there was - as you have acknowledged - was a Vineyard influence - from the 1984 Wimber team visits primarily but - from what I've read in Wright's account, from earlier visits by Lonnie Frisbee too. As early as 1982 in fact.

My opinion hasn't changed. My opinion of you has though, and if you carry on like this I'm going to call you to Hell and give you the thrashing that your supercilious and hoity-toity attitude so richly deserves.

Just be clear what my line is before you start sounding off and punching shadows. You are accusing me of saying things that I haven't actually said.

Ok, so I might have been conflating Wimber's ministry with the Vineyard as a whole (although I don't think I've consciously done that, but can see why you might assume so).

Please bear in mind that the Wimber team did operate sans Wimber in various parts of the UK in 1984. He was at the big rallies and his teams went out into other parts of the UK by invitation.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think you are reading rather too much into what I'm struggling to say here.

If you think that I am trying to play down or denigrate the Baptist contribution to the overall charismatic scene in the UK - that's not what I'm doing. Quite the opposite in fact.

I can only conclude that you are feeling unnecessarily threatened for some reason or proprietorial about your own constituency and defending it against imagined threats from elsewhere.

That certainly isn't my intention.

I don't dispute that Wright actually intended to join NFI at one point. He was rumoured to be teetering on the brink of joining Harvestime when I was up north.

I think you're arguing at cross purposes.

Also, the 6 weeks shore-leave I referred to a while back was to an actual 6 weeks I'd spent ashore.

This time I went away for no more than 6 days. I never claimed to be going away for longer.

So get your facts right you fucking officious jumped up twat.

And come and see me in Hell.

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Gamaliel
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@Polly

A fair assessment but I have also stated that Wimber did have an influence at the time but more as part of his (global) ministry rather as head of Vineyard trying to start a movement in the UK.

I wasn't saying anything different.

I stand by what I wrote. And I'd like an apology please because you've misrepresented me several times on this thread. And I don't like it.

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Gamaliel
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Come on, apologise.

I did not say that the Vineyard had churches in the UK before 1987.

What I did say was that the Vineyard had an influence here from 1984 and perhaps earlier in some places.

What's so wrong about stating that?

I demand an apology.

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Kelly Alves

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ADMIN

Gamaliel, This thread is not the place to demand apologies. You yourself opened a Hell thread to hash out whatever personal issues you have with Polly. Either find a way to further the current discussion, or drop it.

Kelly Alves
Admin


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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Polly:

For example...

earlier in this thread you state

quote:
I distinctly remember discussions about the Vineyard planting churches in the UK from the time of the first Wimber team visits in 1984.
and then on your last thread

quote:
Read my lips. I.did.not.say.that.the.Vineyard.movement.started.iin.the.UK.before.1987.
Can you decide what your opinion is because there simply was no talk of Vineyard churches in the UK from Vineyard until 1987. I will admit that British Charismatics expressed a desire that there was but that is very different.

It seems eminently clear to me that it's possible for both to be true - I'm not sure what your quibble is.
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RuthW

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Host hat on

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
So get your facts right you fucking officious jumped up twat.

Kelly has addressed the clusterfuck you seem to be trying to make of this thread (thanks, Kelly!), but this insult must also be noted. The Ship's third commandment makes clear that there is no excuse for this behavior in Purgatory.

A word to the wise -- an Admin has taken note of you. And not in a good way.

RuthW
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Plique-à-jour
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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
It's hard to tell and I can only offer my own anecdotal experience. I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt to people that, on a personal level, seemed very sincere in their beliefs and believed in what they thought was happening. I listed a few other characters that exhibit tell-tales signs of pathology as extreme examples.

I find them all a bit wacky now…

K.

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
It's difficult to pin-point, Plique-a-jour, but I do tend to think that the Alpha crowd are pretty genuine - even if they get things genuinely wrong at times.

There are tell-tale signs, I think, but like anything else you have to run the risk of getting involved in order to discern them. Antique dealers all have their stories of the one that got away or the convincing fake. It's the same on the charismatic scene.

I should have been clearer, I was asking not because I think the Alpha people seem particularly insincere, but because when I encountered Osteen's show, his preaching was just what I needed. (On Pat Robertson I'd concur enthusiastically with the general view, and I don't know about the others.) While Osteen refers anecdotally to miracles fairly regularly, and I always put them mentally in the categories 'explicable', 'not how he tells it' or 'whole cloth', I've never seen him attempt to give words of prophecy, or do the kind of damage televangelists routinely do by implying that people needn't bother with medical treatment. Consequently, I wouldn't say he was trying to trick people. Of course, I can only speak about the TV work, and whether he's genuine or not has never been much of a concern for me, I've been more concerned with the message I was led to than the messenger who delivered it. That said, I can see how anyone who considered 'self-help' a con by definition would bracket him with Robertson et al.

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Gamaliel
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Ok, warnings noted and I'll use this opportunity to issue an apology to all concerned - the Hosts and Polly alike.

I think Doublethink was on the money with her advice for me to avoid charismatic threads for 12 months.

I thought this one would be ok as I don't have a dog in this fight but somehow it's turned into a spat between Polly and myself - and I'll take the blame for that.

However, Polly does seem to have disregarded clear testimonial evidence from others who were around and involved in those days but I'll let that pass.

He's accused me of pedantry in Hell, which is fair enough but from where I'm sat he seems to be the one exercising the pedantry muscles.

That said, I take his point that there is a distinction between Wimber's ministry in the mid-1980s and the Vineyard as an entity here in the UK from the late '80s onward.

What I don't accept is that I was backpeddling to cover my tracks and excuse mistakes I'd made in chronology and so on - not because I'm unwilling to acknowledge and admit mistakes - I've done that here plenty of times - but because I think Polly misunderstood what I was saying - which is fine - but then compounded that by misrepresenting what I'd said.

I'm prepared to let it go, though and to continue the discussion - if there's anything more to discuss, in a constructive manner.

Meanwhile, @Plique-a-Jour, I would make a very big distinction between Wimber and co and the TV evangelists. Both were/are charismatic but the ethos and modus operandi differs considerably.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
At times, it looked as if we were going to be forced into a decision to either stay in the BUGB or "go over" to the new network ...

The point was that, as far as the local BU people were concerned, we had to do one or the other. We couldn't stay in the BU and be such a charismatic church. And the message we were getting from the likes of Tony Morton was that we ought to make the leap any way, because the "old" denominational structures were dying and "God was doing a new thing".

Two quick observations, if I may, as a Baptist who was never associated with Wimber, was out of the country from 1982-86 and who started at Spurgeon's in 1987 when the Wimber "thing" was at its height.

1. The "come out/stay in" issue was not new. One of the strong proponents of this view had ben Arthur Wallis in his book called (if I recall) "The Radical Christian" which appeared in the early 80s. I read it at the time but can't remember his thesis, however I imagine his viewpoint that "God has finished with the denominations" was influenced by his Brethren background, an overweening sense of Restorationism's own importance, and possible Martyn Lloyd-Jones' call to evangelicals to leave the denominations because they were irredeemably liberal. It is for others to judge whether it is fair to add that some charismatic leaders were intent on building their own empires.

2. The issue of whether Baptist churches could also be linked with New Church networks has rumbled into our own times. I cannot say if it has now been resolved; however I can testify that I was asked to be part of a small working party at Baptist House in 2005 or 2006 which looked at this matter. This looked specifically at the situation of Wimbledon Baptist Church, which had a "foot in both camps": not only were there questions of allegiance but it was also possible that the congregation were acting illegally, being in breach of Trust with their building. (We also looked at whether "ethnic" churches could be members of the BU and also of their own national associations, but that is a bit different).

P.S. Spurgeon's College students of the mid-1980s will recall how Nigel Wright - then the New Testament lecturer - was known as "The Fair Face of Evil" due to an unfortunately laid-out book cover!

[ 21. September 2013, 08:04: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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MrsBeaky
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I remember in the early 80s (can't remember the exact date but before September 83 when we moved from London)going with a group from our Anglican parish church to a Baptist church in South London which had a visiting team from Vineyard (USA).
The congregation was made up of individuals (rather than whole churches) from different churches/ denominations so I wonder if the influence at that point was more organic rather than at a structural level?

The teaching and praxis was completely new to me and I remember feeling a mixture of concern and also a strange attraction.... I also remember thinking (and I hope I can say this as someone with dual citizenship and cultural heritage)that the Vineyard team from California were so very culturally different from South Londoners that it might present a few challenges in communication!

That said I think they and their teaching were mainly very positively received and most of the individuals present would have returned to their church congregations to attempt to share what they had discovered and thus exercise some influence on the ground. I have no idea how many church leaders might have been present who then might have tried to introduce the teaching/ praxis to their churches.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:
I remember in the early 80s (can't remember the exact date but before September 83 when we moved from London)going with a group from our Anglican parish church to a Baptist church in South London which had a visiting team from Vineyard (USA) ... I also remember thinking (and I hope I can say this as someone with dual citizenship and cultural heritage)that the Vineyard team from California were so very culturally different from South Londoners that it might present a few challenges in communication!

I suspect that the church may have been Lewin Road Baptist Church where the late Douglas McBain was Minister. He had been involved in the charismatic movement as early as the mid-50s when he was a young minister in Wishaw, Scotland and, I think, was later active in the Fountain Trust. He finally became the London Baptist Association's Superintendent (the nearest thing we had to bishops!)

The Wimber team also visited Nigel Wright's church at Ansdell (Lancashire) although I don't know if it was at the same time. Wright also mentions the cultural mismatch, but I do wonder if the Californian exoticism had a subconscious appeal to staid Brits?

Didn't Wimber also have an influence on Anglicanism through David Watson? I seem to remember hearing that Watson became quite enamoured with Wimber who was making prophecies about his healing from cancer? (Of course, these turned out to be wrong).

[ 21. September 2013, 09:27: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
... we ought to make the leap any way, because the "old" denominational structures were dying and "God was doing a new thing".

I heard this sort of thing in charismatic Anglican circles in the early 90s. It was also meant to be heralding the end times, IIRC, although since this was post-Hal Lindsey folk were a bit more reticent about booking the Second Coming in for a week next Tuesday. More coded talk about "trumpets being at the lips" and stuff.

It's not that different from what the Simple Church people are saying now. The problems, IMV, and tangential to this particular thread, always come when people start thinking that because they're sure God's doing something with them he can't possibly be doing something else somewhere else...

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Well, the two groupings that arose from the Albury Conferences in the 1840s - one strand of the Brethren and the Catholic Apostolic Church - also believed that there were part of a reversion to New Testament Christianity in the Last Days. I don't know if either of them "dechurched" other Christians - some of the Brethren probably did.
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Oscar the Grouch

Adopted Cascadian
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Didn't Wimber also have an influence on Anglicanism through David Watson? I seem to remember hearing that Watson became quite enamoured with Wimber who was making prophecies about his healing from cancer? (Of course, these turned out to be wrong).

You're absolutely right. I remember it well.

And as David Watson died in 1984, this pretty much "proves" the point that Gamaliel and I (amongst others) have been making. Namely that Wimber and his organisation were already beginning to have some significant influence by 1984.

--------------------
Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Gamaliel
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I might have saved myself some bother and embarrassment and Polly a Hell-call if I'd prefixed my initial remarks by outlining what I believe to have been the main influence of the Wimber visits of the mid-1980s on the 'new churches' (of which I was a part at that time) rather than pontificating about their influence on Baptists and Anglicans - who were influenced in a different way.

Baptist Trainfan is absolutely right about the Arthur Wallis 'come-out' thing and the first time I heard Arthur preach - at a 'celebration evening' in a large northern city - this was exactly his message.

The over-riding effect of the Wimber visits a few years later within the 'restorationist' ambit was to challenge that particular sacred-cow. That's why questions were asked at the restorationist equivalents of 'church meetings', that's why people began to wonder what they would do should Wimber decide to start planting churches in the UK - and yes, I completely agree with Polly that this wasn't his original intention and didn't actually come about until the Mumford thing about 3 years down the line.

But the influence was there.

The immediate effect on the 'restorationists' was for them to modify their harder-line views somewhat, although still to claim that the charismatics in the traditional denominations would be better off in the longer term coming out and setting up new churches - even if they didn't do so within the immediate orbit of the restorationist apostles. Hence the rhetoric - how genuine it was, I don't know - that if the Vineyard were to cross the Atlantic they would do whatever they could to help.

I heard that said several times before the Mumfords set up the first Vineyard church in the UK.

I would suggest, conversely, that the effect on the charismatic Baptists and Anglicans was to strengthen their existing resolve to stay where they were and to work within their existing structures. I'm not saying that the Vineyard was the sole influence on that, but it was among several factors in the air at that time. Douglas McBain in his book about the charismatic renewal among the Baptists, 'Fire Over The Waters' identifies Spring Harvest as another key factor.

Andrew Walker takes a similar line in his updates to his original book about the house-church movement - 'Restoring the Kingdom'. He felt that the rise and growth of conferences like Spring Harvest helped convince charismatics within the traditional denominations that they could have everything the 'new churches' had in terms of worship style, signs and wonders and so on, without having to submit to one or other charismatic 'apostle.'

That's what I meant in the OP about the Wimber influence being one of trying to 'democratise' the holy, as it were - to take it beyond the preserve of particular gifted individuals or leaders.

How successful this has been is a moot point but it certainly struck chord that needed striking at that time.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Polly

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@ Gamaliel

I think we have both calmed down now and as apologies are coming my way I'll return the compliment.

I did unduly antagonise you on purpose and taking pleasure in winding you up and especially as you bit the proverbial hook all too well. I am sorry for antagonising you it was at the very least unsporting.

I have also re-read your posts and still believe that I have not mis-read or mis-represented you but with a waving olive branch suggest that you check your posts in the future so to avoid "clumsily" posting.

My points have been following on your comments specifically about charismatics and Baptists and in particular what the influences were. I have a little knowledge about other mainstream churches and have tried to stay away from commenting on these.

As EM posted earlier the main influences within Baptists at the time came from within but I never dismissed the influence of Wimbers ministry which as you stated above was far from insignificant. It is this point I was challenging you on. In addition I felt it important to distinguish between his ministry and the Vineyard movement because one was not established in the UK until later. This is despite many from the UK churches undoubtedly hoping for and expressing a desire for Vineyard to set up shop in the UK. All this correlates with study that I mentioned I have done. But I note that you now accept this so thank you.

I'll also recognise that for a few churches this was different but in the main I feel my observations are generally correct.

quote:
However, Polly does seem to have disregarded clear testimonial evidence from others who were around and involved in those days but I'll let that pass.

But this is something that you consistently do to others including myself. There is a definite sense that you feel your experience within Charismatic circles is the experience and others is not genuine. There are others who have had as much experience in these circles as you have and at one moment you acknowledge it then dismiss it moments later.

I don't doubt you were there in the early 1980's but many others were including myself. The difficulty with Baptists was that there was no standard response. There couldn't have been because of Baptists prizing autonomy. How one church responded was not how others did. Paul Fiddes was part of a working group who was asked by the BU to offer a response to the Charismatic Issue in the early 1980's. This had limited but not insignificant value and success.

I could go on but won't as it is time to let things pass.

I do agree with much of your most recent post though and the insights offered.

BTW please practice your insults cos you gave a few people a laugh and my 10yrd old can do much better than that and she hasn't discovered swearing....yet!!!!

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Gamaliel
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Thanks Polly. Sure, I accept all of those points and wish we could have come to the same level of agreement at some point yesterday.

I acknowledge that I have a clumsy posting style and don't tend to check what I've written. I type very fast and in a knee-jerk fashion. I must learn to preview my posts. I will do so more in future.

I also forget what I've typed at times and also have a tendency to over-emphasise a point initially then to pull back from it to a more nuanced or moderate position. It's a rhetorical device but it gets me into hot water.

I'm sorry to hear that I give the impression that mine is the only experience that counts when it comes to reminiscing about those charismatic days - that's certainly not my intention but I can understand how it can come across like that. Again, thanks for pointing it out. I'll watch out for that tendency in future.

I knew you were winding me up and I can understand why, because I can be a pain in the arse on these issues. So yes, I painted the target on my own backside.

What I resented was the suggestion that I was backpeddling to cover my tracks ... I wasn't. As I was typing I found myself remembering more and more detail and the whole thing sort of splurged and evolved. Had I started over again I would have tried to make myself clearer from the outset.

Anyway, for what it's worth, for my money Douglas McBain was one of the most insightful of all the commentators on the development of the UK charismatic scene - and I think that his contribution, along with that of other Baptists hasn't received the recognition it deserves.

I was feeling a bit raw yesterday as some scabs had fallen off old wounds (nothing to do with churchy things or the Ship) and this may have coloured my mood and my posting style.

For which I apologise.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Anyway, for what it's worth, for my money Douglas McBain was one of the most insightful of all the commentators on the development of the UK charismatic scene - and I think that his contribution, along with that of other Baptists hasn't received the recognition it deserves.

I absolutely agree. The end of his life was tragic - he fell off a ladder while working on the roof of his house.

Another sane Scottish charismatic Baptist (happily still with us) is Jim Graham, who followed David Pawson at Gold Hill in 1968 and stayed there for many years. He combined charismatic spirituality and Reformed theology even better IMO than Douglas (and I sat under his ministry on many occasions).

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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Admin

Gamaliel,you seem to be trying to apologize, but I am afraid all we have now is a somewhat softer version of a very personal dispute that is being hashed out in opposition to the purpose of this thread. This is why we have Hell- to contain personal exchanges such as this.

It seems like you are trying to follow host/ admin direction in this, but your post immediately before this one suggests it is a struggle. That post was equal parts apology and justification for the argument.

Therefore, for the good of the Ship, we have to insist on a two-week break for you. And this is one case in which I can assure you we are sincerely hoping you can enjoy your break.

Kelly Alves
Admin


--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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