Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Purpose Driven Church".

Good day to you again and thank you for visiting my blog...Just came across this posting elsewhere...what caught my attention was this: yesterday i just read a news report that the author of this "purpose-driven church' book is a pastor of a mega-church in US, about 20000 members and book sales about 25million copies worldwide...the interesting point surfaced by this posting is whether this 20000 member church(and by extension, many such similar churches, in US and all over the world)is weak in its foundation, observing that amusement/entertainment is at the core of its activites...OR that this jeff has difficulty relating to the current times that must have changed since C H Spurgeon days and the days of the Bible... alot of what we do and find in our modern world is not in the bible; surely we cannot lock ourselves up in the past...surely there must be a balance in applying what we find in the Bible and relating it to our to achieve this balance is the key...the apostle Paul exhorted us to understand our make the most use of opportunities...and he himself would be all things to all men in order to save some...the apostle Paul was surely on fire for the LORD and HIS Gospel...C H Spurgeon was seeking to set people on might want to consider where you hot are you?...jesus said to the Church in Laodicea in Revelation 3..i know you, you are neither hot nor cold...i will spit you out...i pray that you will hear jesus knocking at the door of your heart today...respond to HIM and be fired up!! Be edify.
Sent from a fellow believer.
What Spurgeon spoke reminds me of the seeker 'church' service proposed & encouraged in the book "Purpose Driven Church". I have read that book years back when I was younger, much less mature & less knowledgeable of the Word. Ever since I have understood how completely un-Biblical those ideas expressed in that book really is.
Continue to seek the truth in Christ & the Word. Nothing less, nothing more.

----- Original Message -----
From: "The Berean Call"
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:52 PM
Subject: TBC Today : Quotable Quotes

TBC: Although C.H. Spurgeon spoke and wrote in the 19th Century, his words
are on target for today.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
by C.H. Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence,
that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past
few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked
like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a
cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to
provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From
speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her
testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she
tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of
reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere
spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a
Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature." That is clear enough. So it would have
been if he had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the
gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur
to him . . . .

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life
of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the
world? "Ye are the salt," not the sugar candy -- something the world will
spit out, not swallow . . . . I do not hear [Jesus] say, "Run after these
people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service
tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have
a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it.
Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!" Jesus pitied sinners,
sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the
Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement . . . .

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works
havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God
because the Church met them half-way, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden
who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to
whom the dramatic entertainment had been God's link in the chain of their
conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement
produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing
scholarship joined with earnest spiritual ity, the one springing from the
other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood
and felt, that it sets men on fire.



Good day to you, and thank you for visiting my blog. The article below is a good followup to my previous about FALSE EXPECTATIONS. The point to understand is NOT that God will not answer our prayers according to what we ask everytime; the point to learn is that we are so limited and finite, and no matter how godly and righteous we may think we are, our heart although already changed and still changing into God's likeness more and more (i hope this is true for you, by HIS WORD and HIS SPIRIT), yet we all know how prone to sin and unrighteousness we still are. Recognising this, we ought to always open the possibility that what we ask is really not in our best interest or that of the person we are praying for; we should still pour our heart out to God and ask as we feel led; and then leave it to God's amazing grace and righteous acts always to answer and bring about a new reality, for which we must give thanks. I have learned a new chinese saying that translated goes something like this: IN GOD'S POWER, OUR BIGGEST CONCERN IS ONLY A SMALL MATTER; IN GOD'S LOVE, OUR SMALLEST CONCERN IS A BIG MATTER TO HIM. Be edify.


I asked God to take away my habit.

God said, No.It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.

God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.

God said, No.Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.

God said, No.I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.God said, No.Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.

God said, No.You must grow on your own! ,but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.

God said, No.I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

May God Bless You,"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.


Good day to you and thank you for visiting my blog...I do receive many emails/articles...thot i would blog some of them, those i think may be of wider interest to you...i may at times add my comments..

the article below caught my attention, as this week, i witnessed the passing away of a sister in Christ...she was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago, and chose to only rely on divine healing, deciding after a deliberate process of consideration with her husband not to seek any medical her case, the good Lord has chosen not to divinely heal her but to bring her home...her husband shared at her wake last night that an hour before she was due to go, a visiting pastor by her bedside saw a vision of Jesus and revealed to the pastor (and i think, she also) that He has come to bring her home in an hour...they had one final hour of prayer and worship together, and she went when the hour was up...i know some among her friends and spiritual leaders wondered whether this decision of hers was wise or mere foolishness, as it is commonly known that such early detection of breast cancer has a very good chance of cure and survival...humanly speaking, it would seemed so, but who is to say really whether this course of events is good or bad...Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of those who loved Him...we may not understand fully all the whys...i am sure this sister and her husband must have weighed their options carefully and the hope that God will heal her in a miracle...but this was not to be...Jesus came instead to bring her home...leaving her husband and her four sons to continue here...i pray that her example of faith, courage and strength in the face of possible death will inspire them to greater faith and to live their remaining lives in faithfulness to the God that this sister has sought to honour and glorify. May God bless them and you as you reflect on this. Be edify.
Pastor Paddy
I keep meeting people who are exhausted with waiting for God to move. I have tasted that exhaustion myself, as a pastor for 10 years. Sometimes God was moving in the church and I couldn't enjoy what he was doing because I was expecting him to do something else. Sometimes when God worked, it didn't feel like a move of the Spirit. Sometimes when God spoke, we locked ourselves into an imagination of how the word would come to pass -- and then God did things differently.


In II Kings 5, we find the story of a miracle that was almost aborted because of false expectations. You remember the story of Naaman the leper, a successful and accomplished military leader in Aram. Naaman's wife had a Hebrew servant who said Naaman could find healing if he would turn to the God of Israel. Naaman went to the king of Aram, who sent him to the king of Israel for healing. The king of Israel knew he could do nothing for Naaman, but the prophet Elisha sent this message: "Send Naaman to me."

Naaman arrived at Elisha's door with a great retinue of horses and chariots. Elisha sent a servant to say, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."


Naaman was mad as a hornet. "I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not the Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" He went away in a rage.

Have you ever felt Naaman's rage? We imagine how God is going to move, and then he does things differently. If he tells us to go here, we'd rather go there. If we expect the man of God to lift his hands over us and speak a great prayer, God sends an unanointed flunky with a word we don't like. If we expect to be received with dignity, God meets us in such a lowdown way that we have to humble ourselves to meet him.


You know how Naaman's story ends. After he had ripped and snorted for a while, he wore down and someone had the nerve to try to reason with him. If God had required him to do something great, would he have done it? Naaman said yes. Then since God had required him to do a small thing, mightn't it be worthwhile to give it a try? Again, Naaman said yes. He dipped seven times in the Jordan, and came up healed.


Faith and expectancy work together. Naaman expected to be healed. But if he had not overcome a false expectation about how God would heal him, he would have missed his miracle.

False expectations often involve a mental picture, a scene we imagine vividly. Naaman had played an imaginary video of how God would heal him. What mental pictures do you have of how God will move? What will a prophet look like


These pictures may or may not be realistic. It's not wrong to have mental pictures of what we expect God to do, but it's vital that we not bind God to the pictures. The prophet may be better dressed than you are, with a word of grace and restoration. The revival may occur in a nursing home, not in the church; revival may cause the preaching to be more anointed than ever; revival may cause the opponents not to drop dead but to drop out and go home Here is a simple test to help you discern whether your mental pictures are a true or a false expectation. If your mental pictures are helping you find God, they are probably pictures God has given you by revelation. But if your mental pictures are frustrating you and leaving you with the feeling that you never quite seem to meet God, put your mental pictures on the back burner and choose a lower, less dazzling route.


The trouble with the beatitudes is that they don't look fulfilling. Who wants to be poor in spirit? Who wants to mourn? Meekness doesn't look so hot, and the only times I've ever hungered and thirsted for righteousness were when I looked at myself and thought I didn't have any. And on and on the list goes, with each trait seeming negative rather than positive.


But every negative thing about the beatitudes is a setup for God to do something. Each involves a reversal. The beatitudes show us realistic expectations as we look for God to move. They are pictures of how God works. I'm not going to write an essay on the beatitudes, but I do want to look at three.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Naaman had to become poor in spirit before he could receive a healing -- he had to humble himself and act on a command that didn't make sense to him. He had to overrule his preconceived notions about spirituality to meet God.



And that's the nature of God's power. Often we feel dull and stupid while God is using us. Only later do we learn what God did. Telling about it later is much more exciting than being there when it happens. I'm sure that's how it was for Naaman, dipping seven times in the Jordan.


Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. I used to assume that Jesus was talking about mourning for sin. But now that I've been a Christian for some years, I know otherwise. People go through a lot of trouble over the years. He was talking about any mourning for any reason.

Some of us have prayed for more of God, and instead of getting more of God we've gotten into a mess. The mess may be our own fault, or it may be someone else's. But for those who mourn, Jesus has promised comfort -- and the word he uses here is the same word he used in his promise of the Holy Spirit. The Comforter will visit those who mourn.


But he won't necessarily visit us on our own terms. Sometimes we try to dictate how we expect God to comfort us in our suffering. Lord, don't let the church split! Don't let the divorce go through! Don't let my father die of cancer!

There is nothing wrong with praying vigorously about tragic things that are happening in our lives. David prayed and fasted for the life of his dying child. And then the child died -- and David had the grace to get up and go on in God. Why? Because as long as the child was alive, David's prayers may have made the difference and saved the child from death. But once the matter was out of David's hands, he turned to God and allowed God to comfort him in other ways and in other areas.


Sometimes we become people of a single issue, and the Comforter visits another area of our lives. Joseph's attention was on getting out of prison; the Spirit of God was busy making him into a prophet. We tend to do the same, locking our expectations on one area while God is working in another.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness. "Persecution" is the translation of a Greek word which means "being hunted down." Sometimes when we take steps forward in God, we stir up a satanic backlash. As the church has grown more alert to the tactics of the enemy, we are hearing teachings about satanic retaliation.


If you've vowed not to move in God again in one way or another, take a few moments to renounce the vows. Tell God you believe he's faithful and true. Let go of your expectation of how God will bring his word to pass, and let him do it in his way and in his time. Meanwhile, if you've managed to stir up a satanic backlash by pressing into God, be encouraged and dance for joy. Jesus says you're becoming a person of prophetic stature.


The Bible is full of stories of people who suffered from false expectations. Joseph never expected his brothers' rejection when he told them his God-given dreams. Moses never imagined God would walk him through forty years of exile when he tried to respond to the call on his life. Naaman was angry when his healing did not come as he had expected. Israel rejected many of the prophets because, although they wanted God to speak, they didn't like what God had to say. The crowd in Pontius Pilate's courtyard shouted "Crucify him!" because their Messiah did not come to free them from Rome as they had expected, but from sin and death.


Some of us have suffered rejection, confinement, and because we have set out to follow God. Some of us have been angry with God's ways and words. Some of us are waiting for God to change the world around us, and we don't want to face the fact that before he changes the world, he wants to change us.


First, we can choose to turn our attention and affections away from what we want and towards what God is doing. Let God set the agenda. It was natural for Joseph to want to be freed from prison, but God was making him into a prophet. If you're trying to do one thing and God is giving you success in something else that you don't even care about, take another look at the success God is giving you. God knows something you don't know. He's setting you up for a more fulfilling day. Enjoy what God is doing, even if it doesn't get you out of Joseph's prison right away.


Second, we can make our peace with God's timing. The Bible pattern is that before God uses anyone in a great work, he first does a great work in us. You expected to be in a ministry by now, and nobody recognizes your anointing. It won't hurt to slow down and let God work in you. Stay sweet. Lay your hurts and disappointments before God and let him heal them. Your day is coming, but you don't want to be bitter and angry when it comes. Let God purge you now, before a lot of people are looking at you.


Fourth, we can expect God to show up in ways we don't like. God is good and his ways and words are good, but often something in us finds fault with what God says and does. I Corinthians 2:14 says the carnal minds resists the things of the Spirit. Expect this battle to take place, and plan to let the Holy Spirit win it. Welcome the battle as an opportunity for deeper surrender to God.

Finally, we need to remember that God is for us, not against us. Are you in a mess right now? Or a wilderness? It's not the end. God is walking you through this dark place -- and the key word is "through." It's not your final destination. A day will come when you'll be able to look back and say, "God was faithful to me in my darkest hour." He lives in you; you're more than able to overcome.