Confessions of a Charismatic: 'A Candid Reality Check from an Insider'

Confessions of a Charismatic

Confessions of a Charismatic

I have been a Charismatic believer immersed in charismatic church culture beliefs, value systems, leadership modalities, and worship expressions for forty years. For thirty-five of those years I was a worship leader and “pastor” in a variety of charismatic constructs. Our train has jumped the track, there are fatalities all around, and prominent charismatic leaders seem to want to keep tooting the whistle and playing engineer.  The carnage must stop.

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The Leadership Legitimacy Survey: 'When is it appropriate to confront your leadership?'

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

I am often asked: When is it appropriate to challenge or confront my church leadership? There is a full spectrum of opinions about the definition and expression of leadership in the church. There is also a broad spectrum of opinion on if, when, and how to confront church leadership. Jesus is our example in this matter, whether we like His example or not. Take my little “Leadership Legitimacy” survey and discover what Jesus would have you do.

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Pastors are in the Fall: 'Guest Blog by Nick Vasiliades'

Pastors are in the Fall

Pastors are in the Fall

The expression of pastoral ministry in the church can tend to aggregate at extremes in the Body of Christ. On the one hand you can have pastors who are oppressed by domineering and controlling board members and elders, whose mission in life seems to be to be to break pastors down and keep them in poverty. On the other hand, you can have pastors who think themselves as demi-gods at the top of a pyramid hierarchy who think people are little more than resources given by God to them to fulfill carnal ambition rooted in insecurity and thinly veiled as “corporate vision.” In Part One here, by my friend, Nick Vasiliades, explains why fundamental values and ideas in most western churches of how pastors are expected to function are the underlying reasons for so many misconceptions and malpractice of one of the necessary, precious, and legitimate gifts of the resurrected and ascended Lord to His church. Is it possible to be a supernaturally gifted “carer of souls” and avoid reactionary expressions? Yes, but not as long as we cling to biblically baseless definitions, values, and expressions of pastoral ministry.

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Rat Park or Rat Cage?: 'Attending Church, Still Alone, and Living in Misery '

Rat Park or Rat Cage - Attending Church, But Still Alone

Rat Park or Rat Cage – Attending Church, But Still Alone

Dr. Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC reconsidered a famous lab experiment done in the 1970s involving addiction. He pondered that the presumptions behind the science could be flawed and incomplete. The scientific experiment in the 1970s involved a lone rat in a rat cage with two water bottles. One was laced with cocaine and the other just water.  In this well-known experiment, it was allegedly proven that nine out of ten rats in the rat cage will go back, again and again, to the cocaine bottle until they killed themselves. The conclusion taken from this experiment was that the rats were hopelessly chemically addicted to the point of suicide. Not so fast.

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The “Doctrine” versus “Love” Conundrum: 'Guest Blog by Aaron Tilbury'

The Doctrine Conundrum

The Doctrine Conundrum

Recently I have  been blessed with the expansion of relationship with brothers and sisters outside my direct church family. Like the gospel will do, and like Jesus will do, those lines become blurred and the family just becomes, well, more family: still the church–still the body–just more connected. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that doctrine can be a relational stumbling block in the “extended” family.

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Money and the Church – Part 1: 'The Love - Life Middle of the Road'

The Church and Money

Money and the Church – Part 1

Is there a better way to express a culture of giving and receiving than blindly throwing ten percent into the mouth of a voracious, impersonal, non-relational, religious machine that consumes resources like the Borg assimilating the universe?[i] I think there is.

But there as many opinions on this topic as there are believers!

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Money and the Church – Part 2: 'Generational Patterns in Giving'

Church and Money - Part 2

Money and the Church – Part 2

It is an indisputable fact that there are differences in giving habits between different generations. These differences are deep and not going away. If we expect giving in the ekklesia to continue along the line it has for the last fifty years, or even twenty years, we are seriously mistaken. We ignore these differences at our peril.

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City Church Concepts – 12 Challenges: 'Relationships in the 21st Century'

City Church

City Church Elders – 12 Challenges

City church is a concept/belief that only one church legitimately exists in a any city, and that it should be overseen by elders of the city, who then submit to regional apostles (overseers, bishops, superintendents–whatever your tradition calls the greater function.). The idea and its variants are prevalent in many so-called apostolic and prophetic groups and communions today, though not confined to those groups. It’s proposed that God wants to restore governmental order to the church under geographic delineations so it can fulfill its destiny in unity. Some consider the concept an essential for the realization of John 17 unity. In this lengthier (apologies in advance) than normal blog, I present twelve considerations or challenges to this idea. I am endeavoring to explore the implications, motives, and pitfalls inherent with the idea. I hope to make the case that relationships, not geography, nor hierarchy, establish spiritual authority and spiritual jurisdictions.

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Idealism Without Action: 'A Deceptive Dead End'

Idealism without Action - A Deceptive Dead End

Idealism without Action – A Deceptive Dead End

Anyone can wax eloquent about what could, or should be, versus what currently “is.” Idealism without action is a delusional dead end. Preachers, teachers, prophetic types, “apostolic visionaries,” dreamers, philosophers–whatever your language tradition might call them–are particularly vulnerable to irrelevant idealism. It is better to incarnate imperfection, than to romanticize about a never-seen ideal.  Jesus can do a lot with folks who will simply “get to it” imperfectly, rather than “talk about it” ideally.

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Revising Revival – Part 4 – Praying for Revival: '2 Chr. 7:14 and Praying for Revival'

Rethinking Revival

Why 2 Chr. 7:14 has nothing to do with revival.

If in an inferior covenant, God was willing to forgive Sodom and Gomorrah if just 10 righteous people could be found (not even trying, not even praying) why do we think we need 10,000 “prophetic intercessors” in a nation’s capital, or 100,000 people in an arena to beg,  groan, and wail for revival in an era of a better covenant, based on better promises? If the cross indicates that God works through weakness, and if God’s work is done by neither might nor power, but by His spirit, if Gideon won with a few, why do we spend countless hours trying to amass numbers, size, and success? It is just unbelief saturated anti-gospel carnal drive for significance and money veneered with a 2 Chr. 7:14 proof text.

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