Now this could get me in trouble. I was discussing some of the subject of my blog with my two sons and my husband. These two sons are very active in the Vineyard. All my older kids attend Vineyards of some sort. I am something of a reticent attendee. Somewhat due to my lifes circumstances- but somewhat because I have to adjust a bit. I fear for some of my fellow churchgoers to get a little too confrontational with standing in front of my car and blowing their cigarette smoke directly toward me. Because this is one Christian that is not of a mind to smile patiently and act all sweet and receptive. I will say something. Something direct.
Because I, too, came to the Lord as a cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, halter wearing, bar-hopping, foul-mouthed, arrogant, and somewhat hard-nosed sort of person. I came wanting something better, and I know the frame of mind that the gospel produces eventually as it penetrates. If it remains as it is after time in the Church -that is a problem.
There needs to be a balance, of love and of truth.
I’ve gone through a gamut of experiences trying to get there.
My first Church experiences after salvation were in Church of Christ, Non-denominational , and then ( for the longest time) in the Assembly of God. My one son was a little perturbed about the prophetic types of teachings that came off (in his particular Vineyard Church) that one can speak “words” from the Lord when one isn’t sure they are from the Lord.( Sort of ‘experimental prophecy’, as if there could be such a thing). It made me think about why the KC Prophets might have been “disastrous” for Vineyard.
Different church environments have different soils, I think. The loose and open soil of the Vineyard ( this is terribly close to punning-sorry) is ideal for evangelism and disciple growth on the slow scale. It is good for new disciples with their need for nurture and their passion for running with God; but teaching and prophetic callings require precision. Vineyard is not as good for that. Although it seems built in with the strong teachers at the leadership helm… it doesn’t trickle down well.
I think the Church as a whole is going through a transition time. It needs to – because I think there is way too much hypo-spirituality. You can go get all social gospel on me if you want, you can tell me how much people need practical insights, etc…. but the fact is that the Church, here in the USA, lacks prayerfulness and, for the most part, has no real idea of what holiness even is. Not manufactured spirituality and holiness, but the organic kind: the kind that comes from actually being with Jesus.
In this, we all, Vineyard, KC Prophets, AoG, all, have need to revive.
Um, remember that word?
I know I raised more hackles and laid the base for lots of presumptions about what I believe. I give you a key word: moderation. The bible says we are to do things with moderation. And the gospel is one of the simplicity of Christ Jesus. It is very hard to get this message across, and I don’t know why.
um, ok, what is the point, what is the point? I don’t really feel like fighting, but I don’t feel like hiding anymore either. That is what I did for a few years back, hid on the internet and in my own interests… generally avoiding Church divisons and problems. Although lightning-rod me doesn’t avoid issues altogether.
I have seen very good and genuinely hope inspiring things in the Prophetic move. I had pert nigh given up seeing such things, so I am sorrowed by someone blaming them for what I feel is inherent weakness in the Vineyard Church. Evil doesn’t just go away if you are loving enough, or accepting enough. And that is a weakness in the division of that part of Christianity. It has become a division, and how can that be? We are the casual ‘come as you are’ Church. Ok. But just a cursory look over the Bible will show you you can’t stay like that.
A little more disguised is the idea that we can do “makeovers” and become righteous. All the codes and principles of the world will never equal the power of Christ’s blood to clean the soul. They don’t even come close. So that division, on the other side of the tracks, has its own problems
This almost seems redundant. Good grief, it is redundant. There is a gospel truth, salvation through faith in Christ Jesus…. we never needed to remake it or dress it up.
…but naked truth is a little hard to take isn’t it? and spiritual things just seem weird sometimes. We ought to really give an ear to an atheist once in awhile… then we would realize how weird our religion sounds. It is both weird and winsome…. because the draw of life is so strong that even when something strikes you as awfully weird, if it has life in it, if it gives life…. that becomes something wonderfully attractive.
I have no idea where I am going with this. I think I just wanted to talk it out. We think we know God so well. We read the Bible and think we are really getting it…. but even mature Christians will find times when they are just children and ought to have the open-ness to God on that level: like, yes, I do need to learn what you are like, Lord. Show me heavenly things. Open my eyes, open my ears, open my heart, help me accept the people you choose, that are not of my style nor of my choosing. That are not up to my intellectual level, that have hard edges, or sappy softness. Help me see You in them, and help me humbly receive your message from these foolish messangers.
Brad is very right about a point: we have the capacity within us to know these Godly things if we have God’s Spirit. but it doesn’t always come packaged to our liking… and I think that is my point.
Took me awhile to get there, didn’t it?