| Re: A word of caution|
To those who have attended the Revival Conferences and believe in the work that Sermon Index is currently involved, please conider this prayerfully.
How can this statement -
I couldn't agree more Natan4. Especially about the man-made abominable "office" held by people titled with holy names like pastor, reverend, bishop, father, my lord, eminence, his holiness, or even "brother"..... you know, the Clergy. They EXPECT to be addressed in this manner by the Laity. Been there, seen that, won't do it.
- be reconciled with the fact that nearly every speaker and message posted on this sight has come from someone who is currently or has served at some time previously in the role of pastor?
The Lord Jesus will call men into account for words that condemn the innocent. God has many of his servants, who have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, serving in the role of pastor. Those who would condemn men whom the Lord has ordained will give account one day for their words. Abuses of authority do not negate that the origin of all authority is God. Yes even shepherds - those whom the Holy Spirit has made overseers.
Alan and Dina Martin
| 2010/7/20 8:25||Profile|
| Re: |
brothers and sisters, in light of the last post I will try and to make a few clarifications, in hope that I and others like myself would not be misunderstood(though I know that is sometimes inevitable).
I am not denying the fact that there are many sincere and godly, anointed men who operate in the role of "Pastor" within the institutional church systems of today. I would be foolish and sectarian to do so.
Our contention is the fact that the "church systems" themselves work against these godly men instead of for them and the Church. These systems help to foster certain prideful attitudes that are prevalent among the pastors of today. The pastors become victims of a faulty unbiblical system. Is it their fault? Partly yes and partly no.
What we are hoping and praying for is a radical reformation of the Church as we know it in large part. The protestant reformation brought about great advancement in the kingdom of God regarding the true gospel of Jesus Christ being restored, and the Scriptures being accessible to the common people. But with that reformation much of the baggage of Rome was brought into the Church. Instead of a man-made hierarchical priesthood we now had hierarchical man-made "pastor-hood", etc. We still kept the unbiblical "clergy/laity" system, a system that has crippled much of the Church of Jesus Christ and kept her from shining as she was meant to. Blessings.
| 2010/7/20 11:07||Profile|
| Re: why have we been failing for almost 1700 years?|
Neil, you hit the nail on the head. I totally agree. I'm so happy that I wasn't the only one. Thanks you for posting and please post more.
The church today does not reflect God's heart.
| 2010/7/21 15:57|
| Re: |
Hi. I will receive your word of caution. Thank you.
However, I've gotten over the fear of God's damnation for "lifting my hand against God's 'anointed' " long ago. That is a common tool of the "clergy" to make sure the phony office is revered and feared by the laity and to solidify the power structure within the temple.
I will respect any elder whom the Spirit has made an overseer, when I see one. Of course, the function of overseer is necessary for any gathering of the called-out.
I've been among the herds of those who've "addicted themselves to the ministry" and have found that most of the "addiction" was Self-inflicted (including mine at one point.) I've seen the angry infighting over which addict was to be the God-called leader over this flock or that, the differences in "Spirit-given" opinions among the addicts, the smothering by the addicts of the actual Spirit-given giftings among the laity, the smug "please call me 'BROTHER Jim' from the addicts, the "holy" awe-inspiring voices of the addicts as they preach, or pray, or preside over their weddings and funerals (as if these were part of their God-given duties), varying their voices from the normal human timbre to showcase the gravity of their office. I could expand this to a novel, but I won't. :)
The Lord will call ALL people into account, for whatever they've said and done. His people need have no fear that speaking or acting against those who take the robe of "the Lord's Anointed" upon themselves will receive any hotter fires of hell than anyone else. The Lord will even call men into account for threatening sheep with judgement and damnation without cause.
Yes, all authority is given by God. The authority of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was given by God, and that of Alexander the Great, of the Caesars of Rome, of Hitler, even the devil who promotes the God-given "strong delusion" for those who reject the love of the Truth, which includes the authority of the false priesthood within the "church". Not all authority is to be followed. Recognized, yes, but not followed.
Thank God for the prophets and overseers who teach and preach and lead, but there are none "reverend" among them. The Lord, He is Reverend. And those among even those whose words are archived here, who crave that Title or others, are to be avoided. Possibly listened to.....even Balaam spoke true Words of God.... but not followed. We humans, saved or otherwise, have a great need/desire to be positively distiguished from others (study the word pharisee). Oh yes, YOU (anyone reading this silly discourse) have it too. This one of things we are called to OVERCOME while we're in this Fire.
That said, I really do appreciate any word of caution from a brother or sister in the Anointed. But afraid of speaking against a false priesthood? Not in the least. May all of His sheep lose that fear. God is not going to damn you. :)
| 2010/7/24 11:46||Profile|
| Dear Paul "giggles"|
i have been truly remiss by not responding to the outpourings of the riches of your heart in Christ, forgive me.
So that may i adaquately respond to your post, i'm going to cut and paste it HERE, so that our brothers and sisters may reference it. in your encouragement as to my 'heart', you give me blessings upon blessings, i doubt i could ever repay, fore i know all too well, the innate darkness of my heart of stone, that Jesus is taking a pick axe to.
"Blessings to you Neil. Your heart is something to be coveted in this hour. In humble response to your post, I submit to you:
I asked about your definition of a "winning" church only because the thread's topic is that of a failing church. If we are failing, there is the possibility we could not fail, that is, to put it crassly: win/succeed/etc. And in a way, that is almost the question behind the question or thought behind the thought. We are failing but only because we are not winning, which would look like this ______ (fill in the blank). I anticipated your response and for that I beg forgiveness for my presumption, as you didn't seem to go there.
I thought you, as many people do to show the inadequacy of the modern church, would appeal to primarily the Church of Acts and perhaps revival era churches in as secondary support to show how miserably subpar the current church is. This is why I had a point three arguing for the unique nature of the first church, as well as the disctinctly human element (the sin, the sectarianism, the heresy, the legalism, etc) that most certainly shows these people were anything but perfected divines of sainthood. Most people tend to hagiograpghy when they recount the early church, and then they compare their elevated view of it to the worst of the worst in today's church so the difference is emphasized. So without denying the awesome nature of that first church, I wanted to also convey it, that were it not for God's divine purpose of establishing them as the foundation of His church universal, they would not appear so different from us today.
I would cautiously say the same for revival era churches. I have heard many cliches from various revival preachers that revival should be the norm for the church. To that I say a resounding no. If that was the norm, then it would be the norm. Those times are also uniquities in the history of the church that should be treasured for what they are and realized for what they aren't (to the former, the bar of measure; to the latter, above reproach, for we are prone to ignore their faults and exalt their high marks).
And so without digressing further from our subject... You concurred with that premise, at least in regard to the early church, but then you immediately concluded that that reasonable proposition (the early church was unique in nature) has brought us to "roman-lite." Can you please explain how this is so? Why their being unique defaults us to roman-lite? Or if it is a necessary result, how then that is not God's plan, for what other way could we have?
As far as the global state of things, I couldn't agree more that persecution and chaos could be the necessary ingredients to invoke some sort of awakening-type atmosphere, whether for professing Christians to get serious and/or unbelievers to come unto Christ.
You said and asked: '"the "Rock" of Peter, as i read it, was THE CONFESSION, this FIRST Confession, "You are the Son of God", is what the Body of Christ is built on....can we agree on that?'
Absolutely. We are agreed. You went on to mention Hernhutt to which I would also agree was an expression of the true Church of Christ. But I would also say that there's a thousand other Hernhutt like peoples, albeit on much smaller scales(perhaps even on an individual person scale) that history has not recorded. To go back to the Old Testament Israel/Church typology, a Hernhutt would be like an Elijah. A definite, historical phenomenon. But we cannot forgot that God had 7,000 other men who were completely His as well, but we get no mention of their names, and this was in a most apostate Israel under the most aggregious and idolatrous king. Yet they were there, and so it is throughout history. There is always a definite group in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation and largle apostate professing church.
Now you did say this: "i feel i would be scaling the heights of arrogance if i was ever to breath the attribute "true" in relation to my walk, or to a congregation i belonged to as being the "true". Implication being, others are false, and the way i see it, thats in God's Jurisdiction, mindful of the words of Gamaliel in Acts..."
With respect to the Gamaliel passage, I do not think it is out of the realm of safe exgesis to say that the Bible certainly encourages a believer to test his or her faith against criteria it lays out, and so while humility and brokenness should be our aim, let us not also treat as common what the Father has sanctified as holy by the blood of His Son. If you are His, there is no shame in admitting and even rejoicing in that revelation, for it is His merit and work that saved you. He purchased you with His blood, knowing that He would not see you perfected til heaven (or second coming or....well this isn't an eschatalogical or glorification discussion, so whenever that may be), and yet He wanted you nonetheless. Jesus saves the unrighteous and sick, not the self-righteous and those in no need of a physician.
Perhaps, it is in retrospect that one can more safely judge fruit biblically, at least in grayer areas. I'm sure neither of us would have trouble declaring Mormonsism or Jehovahs' Witnesses or Muslims as thoroughly false. And this is because, yes there is a false. There is a true. Jesus said He was the true vine; there is a false one (the vine of the earth Rev. 14:18-19). So I wholly endorse a humility and modesty and caution when it comes to making claims to true and false churches, but let us not attempt to live above the scriptures which endorse distinguishing between true religion and false, for the sake of salvific purposes. We are continually exhorted to not to follow false preaching and teaching, not to decieve ourselves with our religious pretenses, and to hunger, thirst, and seek after righteousness and truth. Somewhere in that lines must be drawn.
Now I'm not trying to hammer out specifics here, as far as doctrinal and praxy differences within the realm of biblical, historical Christianity. I am merely saying that where the Spririt of the Lord is there is freedom and life and light and you cannot hide that.
I feel I'm digressing now.
I appreciate you listening to the Washer message and was in no way asking you to endorse all he stands for by acknowledging what he is presenting in that snippet. All I was asking is for you to hear the message delivered; it could have been anyone giving that word. I know Mr. Washer has a sort of iconic status, to where many hold him as infallible. I do not. I merely appreciate his high view of the Bride of Christ and the work of Christ to secure and preserve her. And I think that is what you saw. There is tares with the wheat, that shouldn't make the wheat any less wheat though, right?
All I am arguing for is that Christ's Bride is whole and she is glorious because He has redeemed and regenerated her and is committed to completing that work. That does happen within the context of a sinful world and a messy church sub-culture, as evidenced by the original church. The point of all of that dear brother was to encourage you to not lose heart. Your heart is tender, your spirit poor, your soul perhaps even mournful. The Bible calls you blessed my friend.
As for that Bonhoeffer work I haven't read it, but will put it on my list. Bonhoeffer is one I would love to dive into though. I have truthfully only got through maybe a third of The Cost of Discipleship and have not even cracked that copy of Ethics I got for Christmas a few years back. Also, just ordered the bio on him that was recently published. O Lord save me from being merely a book collector...let me be a reader!
You closed with this, "i guess thats what i long for, life together with other followers of Jesus...."communal"? to an extent, meaning nothing is "mandated". "cultish"? God forbid."
Perhaps you could expound this more? This might be the heart of why you see failure everywhere. You are longing and searching for this, but can't seem to find it.
"i've been crafting what i call the "Order of Service" as the Lord leads....it would be a worship service, more like "worship sharing", where all congregants can share with each other, heart testimony, share burdens, share Scripture, share tears, share victory, with Jesus as The Pastor."
This sounds a little like what trendy church engineers would call a small group setting. I say that only to encourage you that life is out there. People are yearning for this; it's just that broken, human people are engaging them. Please let us not live reactionary lifestyles that throw the baby out with the bathwater because mainstreamers water-down and secularize legitmate biblical concepts."
(my discussion with you will be next, my love to you in Jesus, neil)
| 2010/8/5 1:39|
| in loving response to Paul, the re-post immediately below|
lets talk about "winning church" first?
as God would have it, in my morning devotionals, i was in Matthew 20 this morning, the part where the mother of the Zebeedee boys, apostles yes, she was asking of the Lord to get her boys the best seat in the house, to His Right and to His Left....and something just HIT me.
Within the Faith, do we all do that?
After Jesus queried her, in essence, are they willing to drink the cup I have to drink, meaning torture, scorn, humiliation....are they willing to go ALL THE WAY?
at that point (btw i'm referencing Matthew 20:20-28) the OTHER TEN disciples heard of this "clerical jockeying of position" and they were "indiginant".
Of course they were indignant, because they wanted the Left and Right, themselves but didnt have their mama's meddling. I put "clerical jockeying of position" in quotes, because thats what i wrote in a journal i've been keeping on the attributes of Revival.
But Jesus gave us the plumbline when He said to the 12,
"But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them". MT 20:25
and here's what He said to us...US.
"It shall not be so among you." MT;20:26a
THAT IS HUGE, thats how we fail, when we try to ego our way over one another in the Faith, and then Jesus charges us with the hard part....hard, but totally essential:
"But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26b-28
let me quote that again
"It shall not be so among you"
in the modern, post modern church, we always have a human tendency to be out front, to lead, to be in "leadership", and brother, i aint preaching anarchy, but instead ask this question,
how may i serve you?
thats an easy question because its coming from thousands of miles away, but maybe a "winning church" would be a collection of saints, each more than willing to serve the other, each more than willing to just listen to anothers pain and struggle, triumphs and victories, rather than to expound, proclaim and preach.
to refrain from clerical jockeying of position.
(thats my first response to your post)
can i go further on what "winning" might look like?
and it came AGAIN from Matthew 20.
right after Jesus gave the disciples the concept of the heart of the servant, was the Lord healing the two blind men outside of Jericho.
these two poor souls must HAVE BEEN SHRIEKING, can you imagine the din and screaming, so much so, the crowd must of being saying SHUT UP!! the Bible says
"The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" Matthew 20:31
These blind men must have been so so desperate, and here's the note i wrote in my journal, it was the second of three notes i wrote this morning under the heading "Three things that hinder the church today"...and here's the second note:
"Judgement over those who need salvation SO BADLY"
People act in so many different ways when they feel that LONGING and pulling of Jesus on their hearts, and we who may be of sober conviction and temperment, might be inclined to look down upon them and
Its almost like when we see the poor souls that line up for healing from the likes of a benny hinn, or todd bentley, and we might privately think to ourselves, 'what poor deluded souls could ever believe that a hinn or bentley carries with them the Holy Spirit, empty rain cloud wolves in sheep clothing those two are?'
what if we were in gathering, and the most weird looking AIDS carrying transexual prostitute, sitting in the congregation began crying and shrieking out to Jesus, "heal me!! make me whole again!! Please Jesus, please!"
first of all, i would consider us blessed indeed if we DID have a such welcoming environment that a transexual prostitute would even join us for a gathering, but how would we react if such a dear soul was to come unglued with conviction and loudly beg mercy from God?
and then you go to verse 34, and Wonderful Jesus shows us, i love this verse (for special reason)
"And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him." Matthew 20:34
""And Jesus in pity touched their eyes"
not trying to be contentious, but let me drag out a word with a whole lotta baggage on it.
"humanist"---i'm well aware of how the word is both percieved and used in 21st century venacular, it carries with it the baggage of secular liberalism, and thats sad, becoz the way i see it, its misused.
"and Jesus in pity" He loved them, he saw their bitter station in life, he pitied them , he took mercy upon them and HE HEALED THEM.
I see a lot of my secular friends on facebook today hooraying that californias prop 8 was overturned, and i'm not mad, i'm not whipped up into righteous indignation, of course this nation is falling and falling big, but there are 26 other symptomatic reasons this country is gonestray, and if the gays want to get married...let'em! Fine, but i just felt pity for the whole mass of folk hooraying that deal.
i'm very serious about that, i felt pity, eyes so blinded, but within the Body of believers, we better start sqauring away our own marraige/divorce rates, and i myself have failed miserably on that account. If some brothers want to rail against the homosexuals and the marriage thing, go for it, but just remember two words, "Ted haggard".
as i said before, if we, for example, had the kind of gathering that would draw gay, homosexual, transexual, however you term them, into our gatherings. i would be so thrilled in the Holy Spirit, i just beg Jesus and the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts and heal them, make them trophies of Grace..
so thats a high wire act that only God could engineer, we dont soft soap on sin, but at the same time, how could we be used of God, to draw the most hardened ofsinners intoour gatherings?
the third note i made was this;
i read of the Triumphal Entry, and the first thing Jesus does is go into the Temple and rip apart the money aspect, that foul greedy tendency of man, to make a "vocation" of God.
"I'm going into the Ministry"
there is NOTHING wrong with that statement, nor is their anything wrong with a man or woman of God to supported in their CALLED Ministry, but thats where we get into a lot of trouble.
its true, so many of the mainline denom's, where a young man, or in other cases makes the statement, i'm going into ministry, like a "job" statement.......
or what about the hellish charade that say TBN is?
TBN makes me more "Old Testament" angry, than most obvious national sin issues, same thing when i was visiting todd bentley's website the other day, everything's about the money, and Jesus won't have it
let me look over your post.....lets talk about the Early Church, Acts....(and i need to close for today, because it is late, 2:15 AM, but i do so lovingly want to discuss and pray)
of course we can never go back. we cant go back to Jerusalem 40-70 AD, but just consider this.
Times are so bad, financially, geopolitically, there's a push to kill the middle class in America, which is what let us become so isolated from one another. Maybe God is going to rip our wealth from us, rip our abundant food from us, and we might have to ....band together, to share...i dont know. I might be speaking foolish.
It feels like the world isapowderkeg just awaiting the match, 'religious' wars abound, resources grow scarce, we've all forgotten a lot of the old skills, how to make food, how to make paper, how to train a horse, i could on.
But what if a day comes, when the ekklesia is a gathering where we gather, because we can't do it alone anymore?
When i feel lame and heartbroken, i do dream of that lil church building in Boaz Wisconsin, and for Some Reason, Jesus comforts me with that thought.
I just took my son by there, and there are vines growing over the front doorway, and i pointed out to him, that in this town of 137, that there are three pitiful country bars, one United methodist church (no comment) and one stout, non-attended, sturdy, built in 1917 abandoned church building, and asked the dear boy, "dont you think there's something wrong with this picture?"
when i think of that little church, i want to make some money and buy it, and just give it to the Lord, beg Jesus to pastor it, and lay on my face in prayer, and that thought always comforts me, which might mean its a Calling, i dont know.
Oh dear Paul, i look over your rich post, and there is so much i want to expound on, but i'm weary.
my "yes" is that i will not again abandon a discussion you and i get into....and that includes the other posters on this thread, or any others.
May the Grace and Love of the Lord be with your spirit always, neil
| 2010/8/5 3:44|
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada
| Re: Dear Paul "giggles"|
Nathan, when you speak of the "serving one another" part as the Lord commanded, I believe, you're also making reference to the 2nd chapter of the Book Of Acts where the believers had all things in common. Indeed, that is the true body of believers.
| 2010/8/5 5:29||Profile|
| Re: |
hi, i have to rant again...all of the critics need to get together and form an evangelistic team that shakes the world as they did in acts and quit demeaning Jesus who is the head of His church as a failure...i have seen thousands saved and filled with the Holy Spirit in my life and still see the same today...how pompous do you have to be to criticize without being broken and humbled by our own failure to be aflame with Jesus' love toward the lost and motivated to action.do not talk or type unless your worn out from praying and witnessing and demonstrating the love of Jesus...in my time with Len Ravenhill he never was negative...he was always trying to get people into action and unction.jimp
| 2010/8/5 7:24||Profile|
| Re: |
jim, i recant the word i used, 'failure', or 'failing'. call me anything but 'pompous', or i venture to say by implication, 'arrogant', as if i somehow i had a handle on the right end of the stick.
may God strike me down NOW if i be anything like a hypocrite pompous arrogant, know it all, cassandra sky is falling phony follower of Jesus.
not at all....and if so, may the Lord just blast me now.
it was dear Leonard Ravenhill, who put the concept of weeping between the porch and the altar in my heart.
i know i slammed hinn, bentley, tbn, and allow me to insert this amendement into my remarks, I bless God for one soul that comes to a saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ in one of those meetings. i also pray that such saved sinners keep their hands in their pockets and save resource for a lonely pair of missonaries, or their local church congregation.
jimp, you're a wise elder from what i've read of your postings, something is just gifing me spirtual indigestation, and it's part my heart/walk with Jesus, and the other part is within ecclesiastical fences hemming one in....something should be different, and i'm just trying to wrap my heart around It.
| 2010/8/5 14:35|
| Re: |
Hey jimp, there were many people who considered Ravenhill negative, of course I am not one of them and rejoice to hear a prophet speak. Also dear brother Tozer was similiarly critisized, but equally untrue. The charges come from the hearers. To one a message is life and to another the same message is death. I think it was Finney who warned sternly to leave those alone who would cry out to the church to walk in a deeper walk with the Lord.
Many dear brothers and sisters that I know who cry out to God week after week for the church and for the people who call themselves by the name of our God, are some of the mostly Godly people, pastors, missionaries and so on, walking close with the Lord and touching their world for Jesus. I am not talking about the angy watchmen, I am talking about the broken-hearted and those who weep in their spirits for the glory of God to cover the earth.........brother Frank
| 2010/8/5 16:00|