Friday, May 30, 2008

I want the church to move forward, but I fear a trailer is the best move we can make.

Many of you have no idea of the spiritual road I have traveled. I spent my early childhood in the Plymouth Brethren faith; my teens years I was in a Southern Baptist Church/School, after high school I dove head long into the charismatic movement of the early eighties, traveling the South East to hear and see any and all moves of God. I rode the wave all the way to Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. While there I studied hard and attempted all manner of theological gymnastics from the prosperity gospel of Fort Worth, Texas, the demon chasing of Cleveland, Tennessee, the angelic visions of Boise, Idaho, to the time travel of various saints who have now moved on to glory. After Tulsa, my wife and I moved back to N.C. and have worked in local church ministry for the last 20 years. We have worked in/supported AoG churches, SBC, Independent Charismatic Churches and even Third Wave congregations. We have danced, shouted, sang, cried, tarried, prayed, oiled, read, memorized, felt, seen, heard, praised, anointed, cast out, filled with, prayed over, prophesied and gone, gone, gone down all the roads. We both have t-shirts and I even have a tattoo of The Prayer Tower on my....,well needless to say, we have been there and done that.

The last few weeks the blogging world has been all a buzz over Todd Bentley and John Crowder. I have seen much of this before, but Todd and John are both more cool than any holy spirit revival leader from the past. No toupees, no expensive suits, and I have not heard either of them talk about the new plane they bought to fly to build the Kingdom. They wear blue jeans and have gotees and piercings and talk with cool lingo. I do not know them, I cannot see their motives, I cannot know their hearts.
I AM a cynic when it comes to anyone who claims conversations with angels, regular/ multiple dreams and visions, turns worship into a cultic gymnastics session and teaches some theology that just makes my skin crawl.
At this time, I will say few words and wait. In time, the proof of this spiritual pudding will be in lives that experience radical life altering encounters with Jesus Christ. The taste of this pudding should be in folks allowing the living Christ to flow through them.

That does not answer a questions some of you might I still identify myself as a "charismatic-christian"? My answer would be long and complicated, but let me say this...yes and no. I do believe the Holy Spirit lives in folks who have placed faith in Jesus, I believe the HS enables all people of faith with gifts and abilities beyond their skill set, I believe these gifts and abilities will ALWAYS minimize the gifted and maximize the Risen One Jesus. But, as of yet, I still struggle with what all that looks and acts like in the daily life of the church and of God's people. For a bit of insight, I'll send you to Next-Wave to read an article by Robby Mac. I consider myself one of them...I do not identify with those who are always looking for a new thing, a new meeting, a new voice, a new "revival". I do not desire to bounce off the floor, bark like a dog, get high on the HS or whatever the "new" thing might be.

As usual, Dan Edelen has some good thoughts on the topic of revival and new moves of the Spirit.

The last few days, Mike Morrell has done a bang up job on the topic. Look for his interviews with Ben and John in upcoming posts.

HT:Wes Roberts for the video

Just in: John Crowder speaks at zoecarnate today!
One quote I had to grab...
"What we see today is a lot of people looking for a Pneumatology without the Pneuma. They want the package without the Toy. What if God is intentionally making the package raw and offensive to these, in order to reveal their true colors? Maybe the package is irrelevant, as long as we’ve got the Toy."
~John Crowder~

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