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The Forerunner Manifesto (Part 2)

Beginnings (1986-1988)

There are actually two histories of The Forerunner. One involves Lee Grady who was the managing editor for almost nine years from 1981 through 1989. Our paths crossed only briefly for six months before he moved on in 1989 and I became the editor. I had published a newsletter in Boston called The Holiness Herald from 1987 to 1989 with my cousin. We published 20 issues in two-and-a-half years. We always wanted to expand the Holiness Herald to a magazine format and produce multi-media seminars on the history of Revival and Spiritual Awakening. Then a dramatic calling to ministry occurred on New Years’ Day 1989. I was arrested and spent three days in jail with Operation Rescue after having participated for the first time in a non-violent prayer event at an abortion clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts. This occurred after I had been in my first teaching job for six months. I was a typical burnt-out first year teacher questioning the choice of my career. To make a long story short, on the basis of my work with this little newsletter I was offered a position with The Forerunner.

Maranatha and Post-Maranatha (1989-1992)

I had been a member of Maranatha for almost three years (1987 to 1989) when the ministry broke up. For the last six months of 1989, I worked in the international office in Gainesville with Lee Grady and a copy editor/administrator. When I first met Lee Grady, he told me that I was the answer to many years of prayer. He wanted to train someone to take his place so he could move on and train young people in foreign countries to produce international versions of The Forerunner. I immediately took this vision to heart. I was also excited that Eric Holmberg of Reel to Real Ministries was part of the international office because I eventually wanted to do video productions.

Everything was like a dream for those brief six months until November 1989 when the board of Maranatha decided that the answer to problems the ministry had had since its foundation was to dissolve the corporate headquarters and give the local churches complete autonomy. Lee Grady found a job writing for Charisma and National and International Religion Report. I stayed in Gainesville and dialogued with three of the Maranatha board members in charge of the dissolution of the international office. I insisted that I was going to continue The Forerunner. They did not want me to do that because it was their job to dissolve the ministry corporation. Then Bob Weiner, the founder of Maranatha, asked me to continue the publication under the auspices of his evangelistic endeavor, Weiner Ministries International. I produced the next issue without missing a beat. It wasn’t the best issue ever from a design standpoint, but the content was good and I steadily improved in coming months.

For the next year, Eric Holmberg graciously allowed me to operate out of his office in Gainesville, most of the time rent-free. I taught part-time in a Christian school until I was able to get my support to the level where I could work only on the newspaper full-time. Bob Weiner took a one-year sabbatical and his attitude toward The Forerunner was hands-off. I probably had more freedom to develop my writing and vision for ministry than the other editors before me. For the first year, our interaction was mainly in prayer meetings with Rose Weiner and Rusty Russell in which we prayed for our collective ministry endeavors and world events. Once a month, Bob would go over the newspaper articles with me on the phone and suggest about a dozen superficial changes. Mainly, the Weiners were an encouragement to me and stated from the outset that they wanted to release this ministry to me once I could stand on my own.

In 1991, I traveled to Russia and Ukraine two times. I founded the Russian language Forerunner, Predvestnik, through Bob Weiner’s new organization Christian Youth International. Predvestnik was an independent ministry birthed out of my vision and efforts along with whatever Bob Weiner was able to contribute as a tireless organizer.

By 1992, I had become dissatisfied with my church experience in Gainesville. The local Maranatha Church had closed. I attended a Vineyard Church and made some good friends there. The Vineyard was mainly a church that ministered to people who had been burnt out in hyper-evangelistic churches. It was good for the first few months because I needed a change of pace. I felt that the focus on “inner healing” and “body ministry” was needed for a few months, but it became irrelevant to me after a while. Eric Holmberg needed extra space for his video production ministry and asked me to move out of his office space soon after my second trip to Russia and Ukraine. I was alone in my apartment for many hours a day working on The Forerunner. I began to want to be part of a church family or a larger ministry with a like vision again.

There was also some controversy in Gainesville pertaining to the break-up of Maranatha. One pastor in town rebuked me for continuing to work with the Weiners. I think many people thought that the former leaders of Maranatha should have just dried up and blown away. There was a lack of grace and some accusations hurled at the Weiners, which I felt was unfair. Bob took a year long sabbatical beginning in November 1989 in order to get some pastoral guidance and reassess the purpose of his ministry. This lasted until he began Christian Youth International in March of 1991. Since that time, Bob has not taken oversight of churches or any ministry that is not directly related to his own work.

The Weiners proved to be the most generous partners I’ve ever been involved with even though we did not agree on everything. In the past 17 years, I have not been overly concerned with the controversy surrounding Maranatha’s break-up because I always saw my ministry as something that was birthed out of the heart of God for reaching the world with a victorious Gospel message. Ministries come and go. God’s Kingdom is forever.

Your comments are welcome!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

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