In this installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I take a fresh look at the topic of evangelism and discipleship apart from traditional theology, mindsets, and methods.
Many years ago, a poem of sorts called “The Actual and the Ideal” caught my attention while visiting a friend’s home. I cannot give original credit to the author as I do not know who wrote it, and different sources attribute it to different people. Its profound implications on all of life, within and without the Church, are worth considering. The terms “incarnate and incarnation” used in this article mean: to give flesh to, to embody, to manifest or demonstrate. Put commonly: “Let’s see it, not just talk about it.”
In years past we have done quarterly and annual newsletters for those who have relationship with us, and who care about us personally and in ministry. I mentioned last quarter that it would be the last and we would be going video for the future. Here is a 15 minute personal, ministry, and family summary for those who are interested!
Thank you to so many who love us, care about us, and support us.
Blessings to you in 2014.
Steve and Rita
In a materialistic Christian culture that has been brainwashed by a prosperity-bless-me false gospel, the idea of suffering as part of normal Christian life, is as foreign as bacon at a bar mitzvah.
Being a life-long (now semi-lapsed) charismatic believer, I have seen a lot of things: some wonderful; some horrid. Many years ago I was imprinted by a powerful lesson about kingdom life beyond the boundaries of doctrinal understanding.
On the lighter side . . .
- Even the self-appointed tambourine player in the back plays tastefully on tempo.
- Everyone really IS dancing when we get to the bridge of “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever”.
- Our heavenly portals are so big, you don’t have to go to the front of the church to get in.
- The wooshing sound you hear IS NOT the pastor blowing into the mic.
- Cars in the parking lot leak anointing oil.
- Cyclists avoid our block because their chains keep on breaking.
- We’ve removed our nursing mother’s room. Our babies eat meat.
- When the strongman sees us coming, he ties himself up to save time.
- We have a balcony for the angels and orbs to sit in.
- We have an ESL class for people whose first language is tongues.
- We ARE the 8th mountain of culture.
- The demons in our sound system have left and moved in to yours.
- Money doesn’t “cometh” to us, we print our own.
- Gold bricks instead of dust hit us and slay us in the spirit.
Adapted, expanded, and reposted by permission, Jeremie Karan and David Moore.
If you would like to hear about a real-life example of what love in a gospel community looks like in action, the following true story is worth your time. It is a bit lengthy, but I encourage you to read it. Names have been changed and initials used to protect privacy. All other aspects are true. It is my privilege to know and walk with the family of God in this story.
I know so many who can speak quite elegantly and esoterically on the topic of revival, renewal, reformation, unity, oneness, city-wide unity, etc. However, these same individuals don’t exactly line up to be the first to abandon their beliefs and practices that hinder the very thing they wax eloquently about. There’s a bit of a con game going on. We are fooling ourselves in these things unless we get down to some bedrock issues that carry a lot of emotion with them.
These are great concepts when it is the OTHER church, the OTHER home group, the OTHER denomination, the OTHER network, who comes under discipline or whose “theology” is “off,” or who has to embrace “reform” and come out of “religion.” Religion is like spiritual halitosis. It is always the other guy’s problem.