Archive for the ‘Church’ Tag

Religious Boredom   10 comments

tozer-religious-boredom

This is from the Craig T. Owens blog:

“Those Christians who belong to the evangelical wing of the church (which I firmly believe is the only one that even approximates New Testament Christianity) have over the last half-century shown an increasing impatience with things invisible and eternal and have demanded and got a host of things visible and temporal to satisfy their fleshly appetites. Without Biblical authority, or any other right under the sun, carnal religious leaders have introduced a host of attractions that serve no purpose except to provide entertainment for the retarded saints.

“It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments. …

“Any objection to the carryings on of our present golden-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, ‘But we are winning them!’ And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world’s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ? Of course the answer to all these questions is no.

“We are paying a frightful price for our religious boredom. And that at the moment of the world’s mortal peril.”

—A.W. Tozer, in Man—The Dwelling Place Of God

The Modern Day Ministry Title of Apostle   12 comments

apostle-paul-all-cities-visited-map

This is from the blog Sheepstrong:

The following notes have been adapted from an audio clip by Graham Cooke. They are a perfect and truthful response to the modern day apostolic movement. Nowadays, church leaders are quick to upgrade their titles to “apostles” because it’s trendy, higher up there, and it sounds more powerful.

If you are writing “apostle” on your business card, you have not been humbled and brought to a place of servanthood, stewardship, and slavery. You are trusting in self-promotion to advance yourself. You have not let God fully develop you. In Ephesians 4:11, “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist”, “Pastor”, “Teacher” are not titles, they are job descriptions. You cannot put them before your name. That is not what they are there for. The real ministry titles are those of servant, steward, and slave.

In the Bible, preceding the part where Paul calls himself an apostle, he says:

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” Romans 1:1

Apostle was his job description, but servant was his real spiritual designation and title.

Even Jesus called himself a servant and a slave.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

Jesus said there were 3 things not to let anyone call you by: Rabbi, Father, or Teacher.

“[the scribes and pharisees love] greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:7-11

In Acts 16:17, the slave girl with a spirit of divination follows after Paul and Silas and she calls them servants and not apostles.

“She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

Notice that she did not say they were apostles of the most High God. She called them servants because that is their real title in the spiritual realm. Why is it that the demonic realm can understand something that the Church is slow to understand?

We must die to titles. Nowadays, there are more false apostles than real ones right now. They are not all false in the sense of being demonic, but they are ignorant of what real humble biblical ministry really is about.

We don’t need a title because we serve an audience of one and what God thinks about us is the most important thing in the world.

The Vision of Prophets

Posted August 3, 2016 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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What church is NOT   6 comments

unequal

What Church is NOT: Reviewing Some Basics
By Roger Thoman

Church, by definition is not a building, not a place of worship, not an organization.

As Neil Cole likes to say: “We are the church.  Where we go the church goes.”

“God does not dwell in temples made by human hands.”  Stephen, before being martyred.

Church is not a come-and-sit service to attend.

“The church’s true nature is best seen by the life that Jesus modeled: he took the life of the kingdom everywhere that he went—out into the world that he was ministering to.”  Roger Thoman

Church is not a passive gathering where some participate and others just listen.

“The bleachers are beginning to empty as 707 million action-oriented Christians start to pour out onto the playing field and discover the joy and challenge of every-member ministry.”  Jim Rutz

Church is not a professionally-led entitity.

“In the New Covenant we do not need a human priest (pastor) to mediate or pray for us as we now have a High Priest as our mediator…  Having a pastor as our priest violates our own priesthood as it leads to hierachization, compartmentalization and fragmentation and makes us lazy laity… Priests do not lead worship but the Body of Brethren (Body of men, women and even youth) minister to each other.”  Victor Choudhrie

Church is not a business.

“In the first century in Palestine Christianity was a community of believers. Then Christianity moved to Greece and became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome and became an institution. Then it moved to Europe and became a culture. And then it moved to America and became a business. We need to get back to being a healthy, vibrant community of true followers of Jesus.”  Priscilla Shirer

Church is not a club that isolates from the rest of the world………………………….

Read the rest of the article here at SimpleChurch Journal and post your additions.

Called Out:  Now What?

Not Bricks and Mortar, but Flesh and Blood   6 comments

Western_wall_jerusalem_night

By Tom Vander Well

Exalt the Lord our God,

    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,

    for the Lord our God is holy! Psalm 99:9 (NLT)

I have a bit of a rebellious streak in me. I quickly get irritated by senseless rules and misplaced religious orthodoxy. We as humans tend to want to wrap rules around principles and attach sacred  meaning to silly things. I remember a crotchety old fart who got mad at me for letting children run and play in the church sanctuary instead of getting mad and giving them a stern rebuke. In his mind the kids were desecrating the holiness of the room. I told him that the sanctuary was nothing more than a gathering place (adding that I’d be happy to prove the point scripturally) and the sound of children laughing, running and playing where we met to worship was music to my ears. If there are a lot of kids having fun in the place the church just might have a future.

He didn’t like me very much.

In the ancient days when the psalms were written, there was central place where God was to be worshipped in Jerusalem at the temple. One of the things I love most about Jesus  is that he blew away old rules and established radical new paradigms. When a woman asked Jesus about worshipping in Jerusalem, Jesus said, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem….But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

In the new paradigm that Jesus ushered in, those who believe are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit and we ourselves become God’s temple. We don’t go to some church building that is somehow special, holy and sacred – we ourselves – our bodies – are the temple. We are made special, holy and sacred by God.  We don’t go to church. We are the church. It’s not bricks and mortar. It’s flesh and blood. Every time I hear a pastor telling me to invite my friends to church I shake my head and groan. Jesus’ intention was never for believers to bring friends to a central location to worship Him. His intention was that believers would worship Him by spreading out into every neighborhood and loving people.

Related articles

Wayfarer

Posted August 9, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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A Pie in the Face and a Riot in a Church   Leave a comment

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
1 September 2010

Last night I had a dream where I was sitting in a church. This church was packed with people; it looked like someone’s funeral; the men wore suits and the women wore nice dresses. During the funeral service, this man stood up in his pew and was going to give a small speech about the man who recently died. The man who died obviously was well-known in the community—maybe a prominent businessman. The man who stood up to give his speech barely started speaking when I turned and saw this woman take a crème pie and throw it at him—the pie hit him in the face. The amazing thing is that the woman was twenty or thirty feet away. She really hit the target.

There was a great uproar in the church after this happened. The woman who threw the pie was dressed very proper. She seemed very civilized except that she threw a pie in a man’s face in a church. It seemed so out of place that she would do such a thing. After she threw the pie, she began to cry. She said something like, “I didn’t want to throw the pie! I don’t know why I did it! It’s like someone made me throw the pie!”

I walked over to this woman and told her, “You were supposed to throw that pie in his face because he is a false Christian.” The place turned into a riot—I think there were people having fistfights. I believe another reason she threw the pie was because the man who died was a false Christian. The man who was trying to give the speech was a friend of the deceased; he was going to lie about a man who lived a lie.

I walked away from the church with my friends. We walked into this building and talked with this man. I told him about the riot in the church. Then he said, “Let us pray.” We all bowed our heads to pray, but nobody said anything. Then the dream ended.

The Jerry Shey Family

Overcome With Great Sorrow   33 comments

Last night I had a dream where I was at a church meeting.  The church meeting had only children present—it looked like the children were all under 12 years old.  There was this little boy who was dying of cancer, so a number of us gathered around him to pray for him.  This little boy’s name was Yeshua.  I knew in my spirit that I had faith for this little boy to be healed, but I wondered if these children had faith enough for that little boy to be healed.  There was a close-up of the boy’s face in the dream.  Then it was time for me to leave the meeting.

I grabbed my backpack and started walking away, but this little kid walked up to me and gave me my folder that holds some of my papers, my notebook and an atlas of the United States.  I guess I had forgotten to take the folder with me.

As I walked down the street, I stopped at this house to talk with this well-known actor (he was on the sitcom Friends).  We talked about my Christian faith for a while.  At times, it seemed like he was interested in what I was saying and, at other times, he was mocking me.

When I walked away from that actor’s house, I was overcome with great sorrow for the little boy that was dying of cancer.  The sorrow was very profound, very deep; it overwhelmed my whole being.  I have never experienced sorrow like that before.  I wanted to weep, but no tears came out of my eyes.  Then I woke up.

The little boy in the dream, named Yeshua, represents the American Christian Church (or churchianity) of today:  immature, shallow, made for children.  The American Christian Church is dying of cancer:  it is losing its life, its salt, its ability to preserve the United States.

When the little kid walked up to me and gave me my folder that had my papers and notebook:  this means that my writings are important for reaching out to the Body of Christ—I am feeding the sheep through my two blogs and my two books.  This is significant because every once in a while I will ask the Lord if I can stop writing in my blogs; sometimes I think it doesn’t seem to do much good—especially when we have idiots in the United States who follow people like John Piper, Rick Warren and Joel Osteen.  (The Lord told me to start my two blogs and He also told me to write my two books.)

At the end of the dream, when I was overcome with sorrow:  I wanted to weep, but no tears came out of my eyes.  The United States is in a severe drought this summer because of sin (abortion, homosexuality, earth worship, etc).  It is so dry from sin, I don’t have enough water in my eyes to weep for this country.  Maybe the Lord is telling me not to waste my tears over the wicked that have ruined this country.

_____

“Truly great men must, I think, experience great sorrow on the earth.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

_____

A Fire in My Bones
John Piper
Rejected
America is going blind!
Shiloh
The Decline of the Oral Roberts Dynasty
A Parable About Lukewarm, American Christianity
Blind and on the Wrong Path
The Goat Farmers

_____

Shiloh
By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

Ethos
February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”