gallery Secret Church 2017 recap

jalen barbour

(Disclaimer: I don’t claim rights to any material quoted in this post. All and any references or quotes of the material or anything else used for Secret Church or to Secret Church or Radical ministries is simply me, well, quoting it!)

This year was my first secret church. I went to a simulcast of it at a friend’s church. Wait… what is Secret Church? Secret Church is basically a 6+ hour intense Bible study by David Platt, kind of like a six hour, intense house church! (Also there is a prayer focus for one country where there are believers being persecuted for their faith.)

So, I went this year for the first time. Overall, I loved it! I was so challenged and inspired! I wanted to do a recap and share some of my thoughts about the whole thing.

So the topic this year was ‘Scripture and authority in an age of skepticism’. And how it works is we get a booklet to follow along, and David moves extremely fast through the whole study, with 15 minute breaks in between each hour – ish segment.

The main thrust was basically “Is the Bible authoritative in our lives today?”. David had a list of these five questions:

  1. Is the Bible Divine?
  2. Is the Bible True?
  3. Is the Bible Clear?
  4. Is the Bible Sufficient?
  5. Is the Bible Good?

Let me start by sharing the things that really stood out to me.

Firstly, just seeing how the scripture is everything to us. I mean it’s the Words of God! We are looking to everything else, when the very words of God, the words of God, are right here, waiting for us. I mean, they are even printed on paper for us! How important do you think it is to God that we read His Word? I was siting there going crazy because I was like, “WE’RE MISSING IT!!!!!!” If we miss this Book, we’ve missed everything.

Another thought I had was that the scriptures hold revival for us. We look to the latest book, latest christian movie, newest worship songs, and best sermons, none of which are wrong in themselves, God gave us those gifts, but we look to those and miss God’s Word which holds our greatest revival: conforming to the image of Christ.

One thing that also really hit me was when David was talking about the richness of the Bible. The Bible is like a daily fresh supply of treasure!!! David (the Bible David, not Platt:), wrote about coming to the Words of God like one who comes upon great spoil. I love that! Stop and think about that for a minute. Great Spoil. Can you imagine if we all viewed the scripture that way? Like we are so eager to open it and receive our fresh supply of treasure. Kind of reminds me of those subscription boxes you can get where you pay a fortune and then every month or so you get a box filled with beauty or health supplies or snacks. How much more value do we put in a cardboard box full of earthly “treasure” that comes maybe once a month and then only for a year until you pay another fortune, than a wealth of unending spoil that is available for us at all times and all we have to do is receive?

Needless to say, I am PUMPED! It went from 6 until about midnight, and I barely slept! I don’t think there was anything I would necessarily disagree with, but I will share a few things that, after discussing it with the people who were there also, we felt could have been added or emphasized more.

Firstly, the sufficiency of scripture piece. Actually, this was one of the parts that I got most excited about, because I was thinking, “Its all right here! What are we searching for??” But, like Platt was saying, the scripture is sufficient to fulfill its purpose, which is to mold us into the shape of Christ. Platt pointed out that it wasn’t a book on raising teens. Or how to get through grief. Or how to survive a job you hate.

Obviously, we can look to the scripture for guidance in those areas, but it doesn’t specifically address every issue we will face. But, he was saying that when we look for guidance, scripture is all we need for direction. But I believe that there is a place for seeking wisdom from the Holy Spirit as well. Like a friend was pointing out, the Holy Spirit won’t tell us to do something contrary to scripture, but we don’t always find an answer or direction from one particular passage in the Bible. That’s where we look to the Holy Spirit, and ask God to speak. Jesus told us that He was leaving, but sending a Helper (the Holy Spirit). But, yes, the scripture is sufficient to fulfill it’s purpose, and we can most definitely find guidance and guidelines for remaining in God’s will.

Also, after talking to a friend, (yeah, I need people to point out these things:) I have to admit that Platt’s circular argument was a little weak. He said that “Any argument for absolute authority will ultimately appeal to it’s own authority.”  Again, not exactly wrong, but I think that saying that ‘we believe the scripture is divine because it says it’s divine’ is a little weak apologetically. True or not, it still isn’t really gonna fly with people who don’t believe the authority of scripture.

Overall, though, Secret Church was incredible, and extremely profound. I was so challenged to cherish the scriptures as an absolute treasure. And the prayer for our persecuted family was amazing too. Guys, Secret Church 17 is available to stream through May 31. I would absolutely tell you to get some people together, get some coffee for the six hours ahead, and prepare to be challenged!

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