Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Central Africa Baptist College 9th Annual Leadership Conference

This week, I'm attending the Central Africa Baptist College's 9th Annual Leadership Conference. Okay, (a little confession is good for the soul) I'm also preaching there. I only begin preaching towards the end of the week. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the ministry of the other keynote preacher, Dr Sam Horn, and the other preachers.

Dr Horn graciously offered to spend last weekend at Kabwata Baptist Church preaching at both our Sunday services. His ministry was greatly appreciated. We hosted him in our home and he comfortably fitted in with us in spite of all the activities of our family. Thanks to my fellow pastor and the chairman of our deacons (and their wives) for having him for meals while our home was upside down with other activities.

Dr Sam Horn more formally dressed in the KBC pulpit
I missed the first day (yesterday) of the CABC conference as I travelled from Lusaka to Kitwe. Today (Tuesday), I decided to attend the pastors' stream. The Leadership Conference has three streams--a pastors' stream, a chaplains' stream, and a general stream. Dr Sam Horn was dealing with expository preaching from the Minor Prophets in the pastors' stream. It was good stuff!

Dr Horn began with a summary of what had been covered the day before. He described prophets as (1) men, (2) holy men, (3) speaking God's word, etc. He warned against the tendency to see biblical prophecy mainly as foreseeing the future, but that it is about how to live today. He began with the fountain of Old Testament prophecy, Moses, went through Samuel (the model who works with the kings), all the way to Elijah (who confronts the king), and the minor prophets (who address the entire nation of Israel).

Dr Sam Horn more relaxed at the CABC Leadership Conference
After a short break, there was a short quiz. I am glad that Dr Horn excused me from it, otherwise I would have betrayed some serious ignorancehaving missed the serving yesterday.

Dr Horn then went on to deal with (1) How do you identify a false prophet? He used the example of Micaiah in 1 Kings to show who a true prophet was in the context of the 400 false prophets. All the prophets were claiming to speak the word of God, yet by the end of the chapter it is very clear who the true prophet was. The application for us is that we must preach what God has said in the Bible.

Part of the group of pastors and Bible college students at the conference
(2) Are there any prophets today? What part of the prophetic office still exists today? Dr Horn simply used a question and answer approach to arrive at the answer. It was good to hear the clarity with which the pastors answered. The teaching part still exists but not the foretelling function. Since the common understanding is that a prophet has direct revelations from God, Dr Horn said that we must not use that term (prophet) about ourselves as preachers. Let us use the New Testament term "pastor".

God allows false prophets to test our hearts (Deuteronomy 13). You do not test a false prophet by whether a sign happens but by whether what he says helps you spiritually to obey God. False prophets use the Bible. They do signs. But they also tell people to do what God tells them not to do.

Someone sweating it out over the quiz that I am glad I missed!
After lunch, Dr Horn began to instruct us on how to preach through the 12 Minor Prophets. The first was to realize that this was largely unfamiliar territory for many Christians. Therefore, the preacher must have an overview of the Minor Prophets. The main message of the Minor Prophets is about the coming Messiah. He was coming to deliver his people, Israel, from their enemies. He would restore their fortunes. He would reunite Israel, rule over them, restore their land, their Temple, their wealth, etc. all this would happen in "the day of the Lord". The New Testament version of this is "the last days". These days are upon us already.

I wish I could write more, but at this point I was whisked away to attend to other matters. More on this tomorrow!

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