| The Refiners fire is coming.|
"Speaking at the Chinese Missions Convention in Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Chan lamented the fact that churches do not understand the power that God has given each believer, and instead keep them in "cages" where the only way they can survive is if someone feeds them.These cages include the children's ministry cage, youth ministry cage, singles cage, and married couples cage, he noted. "Let's just put everyone in their cages and let's just feed them every week and our whole job is to just keep feeding you, feeding you, and feeding you when the reality is you were made for something more," Chan emphasized."
Francis Chan has identified the very essence and elemental weakness of what we call our church system. Perhaps it is why he felt the need to leave his own well established church that had thousands in the pews every week and was successful in every measurable way, at least by the way our system of church is measured. Yet surely he was dying spiritually while most pastors are striving for what he had and what he has now given up? It is like the illusion of wealth and the American dream. No matter how many voices speak out about the fact that money does not bring you happiness and contentment, still the vast majority seek it out. Suicides, for the most part, are undertaken by the wealthy not the poor. The poor has the illusion to work towards yet the rich man now knows how empty his life was and still is, for no amount of money can fill a whole in your spirit. And so pastors all over the world strive to have what Chan had, not understanding the fundamental truth of their calling. Their calling is not to contain the Body of Christ in cages as alluded to by Chan, but their calling is to enable them and to empower them and edify them so as they may operate to the fullness in their own gifting.
Now how can we open those cages and let the Christian loose? We have to allow the gifts of the Spirit to operate in our midst just as they did in 1st Cor 14. Read that chapter and ask yourself why your church does not operate in such a way? What has changed? Does not the Word of God remain unchanged in an ever-changing world? Will not all the world pass away and the heavens above but still the Word of God shall remain. Did not Jesus Himself say that the Word is never broken? If it is never broken then why do we not worship as they did in 1 Cor 14? Why is there not two or three tongues? Why is there not two or three songs and spiritual songs? Why no interpretation of those tongues? Why is there not two or three prophecies or words of exhortation? You see saints, this is the cage that we have put most of the Royal priests in. You can clean the toilets and volunteer to look after the children but God forbid that He should speak through you from the front or, horror of horrors, from the platform.
Will God be contained? Will He continue forever to allow His Word to be chained and caged by the power structures of men? The power structures of men take solace in the fact that their system has been in place for centuries. We Protestants scoff at Catholic tradition and say how dare they put as much emphasis on tradition as they do on Scripture? They cry "Sola Scriptura," while all the while worshiping their own traditions as much as any Catholic ever did. How do we remove the chains from a people who cannot see their chains? How can we speak of true freedom while most of our brothers and sisters are caged and fed and have grown to like it that way? How can we restore the preeminence of Jesus in our gatherings?
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He could see that in just a few short decades everything they knew, all of their traditions and means of worship would be torn down, stone by stone and nothing would be left. Nothing but Jesus. We will never know how much Jesus means to us until Jesus is all that we have, then we will know. The times are at hand brothers and sisters when God will allow every stone to be torn down of the structures we call the Church. The Church will remain for not even the gates of Hell can destroy us, but our system of worship shall be swept away by the storms of persecution. A tsunami of enormous proportions is headed towards us. When the waters begin to recede, know that destruction is at the door. This persecution will not destroy us, it shall refine us. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness (Mal 3:3)
| 2017/12/31 15:07|
| Re: The Refiners fire is coming.|
YouTube message below where brother Francis Chan speaks of his experiences with the persecuted Church. Very challenging message. Our persecuted brethren have a different paradigm then we as believers in America do.
| 2017/12/31 16:21|
| Re: |
The average, well meaning, and even devout Christian in America has no idea of what Chan speaketh because they have never seen it nor do they have any understanding of how a church could function without the ministry cages he describes.
The only way they will ever understand is if someone shows them in detail how a “cageless” church would function and look like.
It does no good to point out problems without at the same time proposing or explaining the solution IN DETAIL. I am not saying Chan is doing this, but you can’t just tell American Christians their method of church stinks without demonstrating a compelling alternative.
| 2017/12/31 18:29||Profile|
| Re: |
Not sure if you are talking about the piece that I wrote or the youtube that Blaine put up Todd, but in my piece I present the details of how a cageless church functions, its called Scripture, everything we need to know is right there. Traditions are all well and good, but when the bars of the cage are constructed by traditions then the traditions have to go............bro Frank
| 2017/12/31 19:00|
| Re: |
I am not saying Chan is doing this, but you can’t just tell American Christians their method of church stinks without demonstrating a compelling alternative.
A good alternative would be the persecuted church itself. I believe that it functions quite nicely without cages. But them for that matter it would have to function without cages as they have a radical dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
Simply my thoughts.
| 2017/12/31 20:05|
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I know you described it Frank but 99.999999999 % of Christians will not see your post.
The church for the most part thinks it is just fine and does not know what it is missing. How is it going to be shown what it is missing?
| 2017/12/31 20:08||Profile|
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You will have to ask God about that Todd :) But thanks for the observation that so little will read the things I write :) ...............bro Frank
| 2017/12/31 20:48|
| Re: The Refiners fire is coming.|
I agree with what you and pastor Chan have exposed. There is so much available to us that we leave on the table,all too content to be poor towards the Lord.
There are so many aspects of the life of faith tied to the central point of the resurrection... while the cross is clearly indispensable to our faith, without the resurrection there is no real hope for the believer.
Just today at church it occurred to me that this is the message that got the apostles and early church persecuted... that Christ is risen and we all will too and be judged for the deeds done in the body. There is an inherent and healthy fear in this message that somehow has gotten downplayed in an (well intended) attempt to carry out the great commission without true discipleship, and instead of discipleship we created “cages” of service which at best slows the process of discipleship and creates an inclusive community of reformed yet unregenerate peoples. What occurred to me today was a lack of understanding especially of Holy Spirits role/function in the life of the believer-
3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
What Paul wrote about here in Timothy is clearly observed in Acts 13:2 And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
Holy Spirit is our CO or enlisting officer and yet we’re not seeking to please Him but rather seeking to please men and (for me) therein lies the problem. There is no fear in failing men and no faith they can empower us....
| 2017/12/31 21:36||Profile|
| Re: |
I like what Blaine posts on the persecuted church. When it comes to the church in America it is really hard to compare. I do believe that when the time comes God in His fore knowledge will have The American church ready.
| 2017/12/31 22:42||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
And so pastors all over the world strive to have what Chan had, not understanding the fundamental truth of their calling. Their calling is not to contain the Body of Christ in cages as alluded to by Chan, but their calling is to enable them and to empower them and edify them so as they may operate to the fullness in their own gifting.
I would think some pastors and biblical elders actually are doing what Ephesians 4:1-5 says to equip others for the work of ministry. It is easy to paint the picture of everything wrong but much harder to constructively start building the body of Christ in your own local area. This is where the actual rubber hits the road. Who have we led to the Lord this year, are we making disciples? Are we living a victorious Christian life? I put myself under this same examination and fail in many ways. I need reviving, it is not good enough to say the model is wrong, the model is not what our Lord is as interested in as surrendered vessels that He can have His way in.
It is God being present not 5 fold, 12 giftings, all speaking or one speaking. If the Lord is not present it is in vain.
Of course there are valid points to what Chan is sharing, there is a complacent system of putting people in cages (boxes) and making the work of God very tidy and all in place (controllable).
2 Timothy 2:2 speaks to our need to make spirit-filled disciples who also in turn make other disciples. This is as Watchman Nee calls the "Normal Christian Life".
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2018/1/1 9:15||Profile|