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Rahman
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Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 How The Church Has Lost It’s Savor …



i know i’ve been pushing Os Guinness’s book “Prophetic Untimeliness” a lot, and the reason i’ve not posted under one thread alone is the parts I’m posting address different arenas that may appeal to some, and not others … Hopefully gaining your attention to one thread will cause you to click on the link to the others, and may even inspire you to get the book …

What this book has done for me is answer how, and why the Western Church is “sick”, and it’s remedy if one is prone to lots pf “prayer” and calling out error as error … Bottom line to me tho is only a fresh infusion of the power of Holy Spirit can fix what’s wrong with the ailing Church today and since it doesn’t seem that we’re gonna voluntarily get on our faces before Him begging His power afresh, it leaves me wondering just how drastic things will have to become before we’re forced there … But as usual, I digress …

Check out the excerpt from the book regarding how (we) the Western Protestant/Evangelical Church got lured off God’s straight and narrow by a satanically inspired “detour” …

[b]Rom.12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world”[/b]

When the Church pursues relevance to the “world” at the expense of our integrity to Christ and the Word the next thing we know we’ve become “conformed” to the world ... Impure! ... No purity, no Power ...


[b]QUOTE:[/b]

The crying need of the Western church today is for reformation and revival, and for a decisive liberation from the Babylonian captivity of modernity. In other words, what followers of Jesus need is the freedom from the forces of the modern world that prevent independent thinking and living with integrity. Our deepest necessity is to be shaped by our faith rather than by the pushes and pulls of the world.

In particular, we must resist three forces of cultural captivity today. Closely related and overlapping, they form a large part of the Babylonian captivity from which we Christians in the modern world must be freed. The third force, which grows from the heart of our modern view of time, is the particulaar focus of this book, but al require resisting.

[b]The Lure of Others[/b]

The first siren call toward cultural captivity is conformity, the power a danger in human thinking, the lure of conformity to others ideas and practices is greatly increased in the age of democracy. Our opinions and our ethics all too easily become a matter of consensus that are shaped by our awareness of others rather than by a compass planted in us by our parents, our upbringing, and our own conscious convictions.
Whereas our grandfathers and grandmothers lived as if they had swallowed gyroscopes, we think and act as if we have swallowed Gallup polls. Our thinking is all too easily group thinking, that which is shaped by a desire for concurrence rather than by critical thought.

Conformity; of course, is not necessarily bad. It all depends what we are conforming to. A closely related term to conformity is respectability. Thus morality (the practice of virtue because we know it is right) is preferable to respectability (the practice of virtue because we are seen. But respectability in turn is preferable to hypocrisy (the practice of virtue because we are afraid of being seen to be bad), just as hypocrisy is preferable to wickedness (the complete abandonment of any pretense to virtue of any kind). Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. But while hypocrisy is preferable to wickedness, and respectability to hypocrisy, genuine virtue is the best of all.

Independent thinking, of course, is a key part of genuine virtue. In fact, independent thinking is what prevents the corruption of concurrence-thinking from collapsing into conformity, and thus stops the slide from respectability to hypocrisy to wickedness.

[b]The Power of Approval[/b]

The second siren call toward cultural captivity is popularity, the power of the pull of approval. John Lukacs has described our position today as moving from the danger of the tyranny of the majority to the equal danger of the rule of the minority in the name of the majority. The power of popularity and approval are strong forces in this development, so much so that democratic elections have increasingly become popularity contests and, worse still, publicity contests.

All that we examined about the lure of conformity comes in here again, but there are other factors at work too. For instance, one is the triumph of the therapeutic revolution and its emphasis on self-esteem that so easily becomes a voracious hunger for approval.

The desire for approval, then, is a major driving force in modern Society, a lust for approval is never far from our thinking and our actions as modern people. And instead of looking for approval to the one audience the Audience of One, we look for it in the shifting sands of public opinion.

[b]The Seduction of Timeliness[/b]

The third siren call toward cultural captivity is fashionability, the power of the pull of corrupt timeliness or distorted relevance. As I stressed in the introduction, relevance is not the problem but rather
a distorted relevance that slips into trendiness, triviality and trance. Here the lure of our modern sense of time is most powerful and damaging.

[b]Future Madness[/b]

The nineteenth century was a century of astonishing change. It may even have experienced the greatest and most significant changes in all human history, outstripping even the twentieth century. But whereas
the major nineteenth-century response was, in Tennyson's phrase, the passion of the past, the twentieth-century response to change has been what novelist Milan Kundera has called the fascination with the future.

Our current passion for the future has been called future fixation, or future madness. For those caught up in this frenzy, the past is dry, dusty, and remote, an albatross around our necks. By contrast, the future rushes toward us gleaming and bright, breathlessly desirable and technologically as alluring as it is inevitable.

The future is history, we are told with the gushing enthusiasm of the PR junkie. Tomorrow just happened. Join us or be left behind. With slogans like these expressing the mentality of the times, Lukacs comments dryly that our supreme purpose as humans is to be reception committees to welcome the purported glories of the coming future.

The Christian church has been taken over by this frenzy as deeply as anyone (The past is seen as beside the point, outdated, reactionary, stagnant. In a word that is today’s supreme term of dismissal, the past is irrelevant. Everything Christian from worship to evangelism must be fresh, new, up-to-date, attuned, appealing, seeker-sensitive audience-friendly, and relentlessly relevant, relevant, relevant.


#1 - This Is Exactly How i Feel SI! ...
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5518&forum=35&8This

#2 - This Is Exactly How i Feel SI! ...
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5526&forum=35



 2005/5/10 14:07Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re: How The Church Has Lost It’s Savor …

Quote from article:

Quote:
Independent thinking, of course, is a key part of genuine virtue. In fact, independent thinking is what prevents the corruption of concurrence-thinking from collapsing into conformity, and thus stops the slide from respectability to hypocrisy to wickedness.



I would not see it as independent thinking that brings genuine virtue, but the mind of Christ being implanted into the heart of a believer. This is the promise of the New Covenant. It is true that one will then be independent of the ways of this world.

Thankyou Br. Rahman, I will continue feeding on the thoughts that you have brought forth.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/5/10 16:52Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 Re: How The Church Has Lost It’s Savor …



Brother Jeff you wrote:
"I would not see it as independent thinking that brings genuine virtue, but the mind of Christ being implanted into the heart of a believer. This is the promise of the New Covenant. It is true that one will then be independent of the ways of this world".


Amen ... Exactly what you wrote is where brother Os is coming from, that "being transformed into the mind of Christ is definitely what seperates a believer from the world" ... But alas what he's also saying is that in a Church system either in deep apostacy or flawed in the error of attempting relevance to the world via what some might concider mild conformity by overstepping it's integrity to Christ and the Word, will also seperate one as an independent thinker amongst ones own brethren ... This he ties into the lessons of the OT "prophets", their strict abiding by, and deliverance of a repentance Word from God, made them stand out independently of the error of the rest, but of course it was their total dependence on God that made them appear that way ...

It's funny, in the church that i'm assigned to there is an old (i call prophetess) who 20 years ago didn't stand out to much at all because so many others in the church were of like mind when it came to "purity" and "holiness" before God ... Now it's 20 years later and she sticks out like a sore thumb because she's still concerned with the same intensity but the pastor, ministerial staff and the majority of the congregation are not ... She's concidered independent of the new status quo now, an embarrasement with her "old Pentecostal ways" ... All because she's still, if not even more, dependant on Jesus, while pastor, the ministerial staff, and the majority of the church have become more dependant on the man made pursuits brother Os talks about ... Since reading this book it screams at me from all over the place now, especially how many churches nowadays describe themselves as "contemporary" (in the present time FOLKS!) ... Hard to return back to ones first love if one has to give up all the gimmicks that seem to be working so well on the present course ... Repent, turn around, are you nuts? ... Look at us, we're rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing! ...

After reading brother Os's book my concern is no longer at all how the Church lost it's savor, but what is God gonna have to do to us to restore our flavor? ... Amen

 2005/5/10 18:25Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Br Rahman wrote:

Quote:
It's funny, in the church that i'm assigned to there is an old (i call prophetess) who 20 years ago didn't stand out to much at all because so many others in the church were of like mind when it came to "purity" and "holiness" before God ... Now it's 20 years later and she sticks out like a sore thumb because she's still concerned with the same intensity



This thought brought to mind the definition of the word "church." The result of following God, manifests itself in being "called out" from the world.

The revelation that comes from Scripture really does have power doesn't it Brother Rahman. To see how God's word has worked in that sister gives us the evidence of where her hope is centered on.

My Lord has much work to accomplish in me so that I may have the same testimony as the sister you have witnessed.

God Bless you Br. Rahman

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/5/11 11:02Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 Re: How The Church Has Lost It’s Savor …




Brother Jeff you wrote;
"My Lord has much work to accomplish in me so that I may have the same testimony as the sister you have witnessed" ...


Amen brother Jeff, me too ... But that's why she was my favorite "sister" back then, and still my favorite sister now ... Folk know not to say anything unkind about her to me ... So many of the "old" saints in my assignment are "going home", and so many others have just seemed to have taken a back seat to this "newness" that they find so alarming ...

You also wrote,
"To see how God's word has worked in that sister gives us the evidence of where her hope is centered on.

Amen again ... "where her hope is centered on" ... The same as should be for every child of God in Christ ... Jesus Christ is our "bullseye" period! ... But attempting to hit the bullseye (mark) of the high calling of Jesus Christ by any other means (marketing, polls, etc) other than the leading and empowering of the Spirit of God is in my estimation the aggregious and wilfully sinful act of grieving the Spirit of God by attempting to get around Him ...

Brother Os's book in my mind eases the covers back in explanation of such spiritual adultery as this, the Bride of Christ on matters that should remain purely spiritual being caught in bed with man made schemes and ologys ... i'm more for ripping off covers "loudly", calling a spade a spade ... But however our Lord wishes to do it, as His instrument i'm surrendered ...

i was thinking just last night before i dropped off to sleep "in the hands of Holy Spirit just what type of tool do i feel like"? ... Then it came to me that i feel like a "crowbar" ... i can even hear spiritually all the sounds made when the tool is used against something that's in need of being "pried" free ...

As always God bless you too brother Jeff! ... :-D

 2005/5/11 12:15Profile





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