Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Think We're Out of Our Minds

Church these days is replete with people (leaders and thinkers) who are looking at church culture and saying, "Ditch it. This doesn't look anything like Jesus ministry and I can't see what the point is when we get together every week for these same-old same-old activities -- sing songs, listen to teaching, have communion, etc." But I think we're out of our minds. First of all, just to clear this up because I think it appears in this blog, I've used the "doesn't look like Jesus ministry" argument myself in regard to the Roman Catholics, but I use it to question the RC claim of authority over the rest of us, not to question its validity in itself. Secondly, those who attempt to ditch a culture are really attempting to replace one culture with another. I hope they're doing it out of a genuine vision of something new. But I doubt it. The blogs on this topic don't give me any hope of it anyway. The practicalities of doing church at all over some 2000 years have brought us to this point and the result is before us. Hey, I've seen culture changes before. I go to a Vineyard, one of the biggest agents for culture change in the larger evangelical church of recent times. God was mightily with the Vineyard back when I first came, and I thought one of the reasons for his presence was the brand new culture. But now I'm convinced I was wrong. It was more like God was mightily with the Vineyard and that, as a by-product, powered the culture change. Because of God's presence we embraced the new models. But we really left our old churches because they had a missing ingredient. The evident and mighty activity of the Holy Spirit. This is the same missing ingredient in the churches of today, even in the Vineyard I am part of. That's why we're all questioning church culture -- when we should be crying out for revival...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Revival is like...

Revival is like a pot to which God is adding special and unique ingredients and stirring in response to our prayers. Sometimes he stirs a bit harder and a bit spills down on us and we get a taste of what's in store. Hopefully that will make us want to pray more so that God will at the right time have a free hand to dump the whole thing on us. ("Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need, mercy drops on us are falling, but for the showers we plead!")

Similarly, praying for revival is like taking turns hitting at a piñata at a party. You know the thing can't last forever, and you're hoping it's your swing that will bust it open. As the piñata starts to weaken, a few goodies sneak out of the cracks and anticipation mounts. Soon, soon, soon what we pray for will come. ("Jesus told them [the parable of the widow and the judge] to teach his disciples to always pray and NEVER GIVE UP!")

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One morning I woke up in a fighting mood...

... and thought John Lennon should not have the last word on what to imagine.

Imagine Jesus coming
It’s easy if you try
Come with hosts of heaven
Filling up the sky
Imagine all the people
Living for that day

Imagine we’re in Heaven
It's not so hard to see
Evil forever conquered
The world forever free
Imagine all the people
Walking in his ways

Imagine there's revival
It isn't hard to do
Healing and compassion
And true repentance too
Imagine all the people
Seeking first the king

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine we can see Him
I wonder if you can
Give him all the Glory
The Righteous Son of man
Imagine all the people
Worshiping his name

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one