First I would like to say I am a sinner. Hearing the news about Todd Bentley one of the key leaders in the Lakeland Revival in Florida was heart breaking. A family suffering, relationship broken,very real painful stuff noone should have to go through. I hope all of us prayed and kept praying for this family and all involved.
What I am about to write has little or nothing to do with Mr. Bentley. My heart goes out to him and his family. I am praying for people involved.
This is more about me. And the reasons why I couldn’t care less about much of what goes on in the charismatic world. I used to care. I used to be neck deep in that world. I don’t anymore.
If you sat down with me tomorrow for a cup of coffee and told me a story of you meeting with angels and praying for people who got healed, prophesied great things that came true, great stories of God moving through you with power, my immediate response would be “whatever”.
If you told me about how God had called you to plant a church and that it would grow to 2000 in just weeks and that many apostles and prophets had verified this my immediate response would be “whatever”.
I couldn’t care less. Not impressed, not moved and not interested. Count me out.
Ahh, you say but this is from God. God has promised success. Through His word and through His servants the prophets. God will pour out His Spirit and great things will happen! This thing will be great, awesome, like nothing we’ve ever seen. Tons of miracles, we’ll travel across the world and God will use us to spread this thing.
My response at this point will be something like “ZZZZZZZZZZZ, oh sorry I dozed off somewhere around you saying Ahh, but…”
I am done taking shortcuts. I am done cutting corners. I am done with Christian entertainment. I will never again wait in line to get in to a conference or revival to see God move. I will not drive an inch, to see something powerful or hear from fantastic prophets speaking with great accuracy. I will not pay a dime for a book filled with amazing stories about the super natural.
When it’s all said and done, we don’t want to follow Jesus. We have little or no interest in becoming disciples but do entertain me, please, tickle me, thrill me, fill me, anoint me, me, me, me, me. Make me powerful, important, please let me experience something great, my faith would be so strong. Bless me with money so I can travel around the country to see Your power. Me, me, me, me…
I am reading scripture different now, sure miracles are in there, they play an important role but what role is that exactly? I fully believe God does the same stuff today, I don’t have issues with that. As I read scripture now, I have found some stuff I never saw before. People’s response. We were told if people experienced the super natural they would have an encounter with God and they would of course accept Jesus’ call for discipleship. It happens in scripture but something else happens as well, like people having an encounter with the power of God and…not giving a rip. Just being happy with the result, but no intention to repent and follow Jesus, or even thanking Him. Whole cities earning the rebuke from Jesus for their response to the displays of God’s power. Their response earning a rebuke? Not repenting. Not giving a rip.
In another place someone wants to buy the power, for his own good. The apostles would not have any of that crap. In one place, people want to declare the Apostles gods. They wouldn’t let them. I wish more people today wouldn’t let that happen either.
I don’t know why you would want to impress me, but if you did, don’t go to the super natural. Don’t brag. Let me watch you live. How are you with your kids? Your husband/wife? How do you suffer? How do you deal with stress? How’s your radical hospitality? How do you love the un-lovable? How’s the faith after a season on hell-on-earth? How do you deal with un-answered prayers? How’s your courage as you wait? How do you deal with loosing a job?
Share stories about outrageous hospitality, extreme commitment to the small and insignificant, radical focus on the marginalized, brokenness over the invisible people, share your suffering, your “faith-injuries”, your low points, your weaknesses, your brokenness, your non-bendable fight against injustice, you’ll have my ears.
We are addicted to power. We don’t want to live in reality. We have turned the message of hope into a market place of religious experiences. Turned discipleship in to consumerism. We don’t want to listen to God because when we do we die, when we do, we loose everything, when we do it becomes about God not about us. As long as we are blinded by the so called powerful we will be powerless. As long as we measure maturity through apparent success and look-a-like power we will never really see maturity or power.
Maybe as we speak like fools and draw attention to ourselves, we should show our scars, the cost of our discipleship, the proof of our commitment, not ourselves, not our accomplishments, not our own greatness. If we should brag, let’s brag about our Leader. I am tired and I am rambling like a maniac, I’ll have to continue…