Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thoughts about the Vineyard Denomination

Yesterday I received and e-mail that was encouraging and depressing at the same time. It was from a member of the Vineyard denomination, and noted that my book contains a story about the Vineyard, and he wondered, with concern, if I had had a bad experience with the Vineyard.

In the story, I tell of going to a healing meeting held by some friends at college who had gotten involved with the Vineyard. At my first meeting, I was all ready to receive the spirit, and during worship I felt a warm tingling feeling on my arm, and, to make a long story short, it was just the heating vent on the floor.

I meant the story as simply another "foolish me" story (and there are a lot of them), not at all a critique of the Vineyard. I actually was profoundly influenced by my friends' services such that I started attending Vineyard Conferences, and, upon graduating from college, moved to SoCal to be involved in a Vineyard for several years. Much of how I understand Christianity now was shaped by the teachings and my experiences with the Vineyard, and I have nothing but appreciation for the Vineyard and the people that I knew. 

So, I was depressed that I had communicated poorly, but I was very encouraged that the Vineyard person handled the situation so well. He wrote with concern and clarification--just like a Christian should. I suppose that fits with the theme of the book--that Christians very often act as they should. Well done Vineyard!

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