Monday, May 19, 2008


a Biblical thought...
Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They're only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren't above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents. (Romans 16:17-18)

a Book thought...
Hope is what you get when you suddenly realise that a different worldview is possible, a worldview in which the rich, the powerful and the unscrupulous do not after all have the last word. (p87 Wright)

a Dave thought... review on Post-Charismatic
'Charismatic' is a loaded word. For some it's old-hat, for others it's unknown, and for still others it's dangerous. But for a growing number, it's a bad dream they want to forget. Rob McAlpine writes for all these, but especially for the last category – those who embraced charismatic renewal with hope and excitement, only to be found picking themselves up off the floor after years of disappointment, disillusionment and even spiritual abuse. Rob deals with facts before venturing an opinion. Carefully he steers us through the relevant history, looking in depth at the 'Latter Rain' movement, teaching on 'shepherding', and the prosperity 'gospel' that ultimately brought pain and disillusionment to so many. Then, aware that it's often easier to criticize than to construct, he explores possible ways forward to a more mature expression of spirituality and a shared life together as disciples of Christ today.

"Rob McAlpine writes with a positive and constructive voice. He shows us that the answer to misuse or excess concerning the Holy Spirit is not 'no use' but right use. For burned-out and hurt former charismatics, Post-Charismatic? leads the way forward toward a mature and sane re-engagement with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Post-charismatic is not post-Holy Spirit, it is a call for post-weirdness."

This word ''post-charismatic'' means post rather than anti and is probably best summed up by a comment I heard recently, "Many are Post-Charismatic. . . after 20 years, they would rather shoot themselves than sing another chorus." I like many no longer have to begin with 45 minutes of singing to have a real worship service. I will continue to appreciate the charismatic movement and am very thankful for the experiences but maybe I am not in the centre of it any longer.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“Clique Maintenance: The need of one generation to see the next generation as deficient so as to bolster its own collective ego.”
The tedious game of constantly having to define who is “us” or “them,” who is “cutting edge” or “irrelevant,” or who is “in”or “out” is no more uncommon among adults than it is among squabbling children in the school playground.
The “other syndrome,” the need of Christians to endlessly draw lines to see who is “in” or not. This counter-productive to our mission in the world to have a mindset that requires us to constantly be categorizing people to see if they “fit” or not. Community cannot be honestly built with these worldly ways of looking at people.
Unfortunately, the same attitude of clique maintenance shows up regularly in Christian circles, but with a curious twist. If I could rewrite the above definition as I’ve observed it in many places, it would look like this:
“Clique Maintenance: the need of one generation to see the previous generation as deficient so as to bolster its own collective ego and sense of ‘calling’.”
The place I have seen and heard this sentiment the most is usually in conferences focussed on the emerging generations. Having been called to and involved with the emerging generations for most of my Christian life, I have had ample opportunity to see and hear it first-hand. It usually sounds something like this:
“The previous generation(s) blew their opportunity to do great things for God; but now God is raising up this generation to do great things for the Kingdom, to take the land that the previous generation(s) failed to.” The inference, and often baldly stated judgment, is that everyone over a certain age is automatically part of the generation of failures due to their lack of faith and a willingness to go where no man has gone before.
There are a number of problems with these kind of grandiose pronouncements:

1. Who says the previous generations failed? And on whose authority has that judgment been made? (Rom. 14:4)

2. What criteria are being used to make this assessment? (1 Cor. 4:3-5)

3. What if “honouring father and mother,” in principle, means honouring those who have “carried the torch” before us? (Eph. 6:1-3, Deut. 5:16)

4. If God opposes the proud, why would we want to have people convince us that we are the “chosen” generation - better, stronger, more passionate, more anointed than those who came before - and not expect to find God opposing us? (and then be surprised to hear in ten years that now “we” are “them,” and the truly anointed generation is only now emerging)? (James 4:6)

5. Can the emerging generation (however you define it) say to the other generations “I have no need of you,” and vice versa? And should the older generation(s) say, “Because I am not young, I am no longer necessary?” (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 12:21)

6. How can we honestly expect to be Biblically obedient to the call for the “older to mentor the younger” if we keep listening to people urging us to judge and replace, and thereby dishonour, the older? (Titus 2:3-10)

My dream is for the day when our main identity is that we are adopted sons and daughters of God, servants of the King, and the friends of Jesus. I hope for the time when we no longer have to resort to a “worldly way of thinking” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17), which results in the division of the Body and slander and judgments between generations.
My prayer is not only that I will run the race well, but also to finish well (2 Timothy 4:6-7). Like the Psalmist, I pray that God will enable me to pass on what he’s given to me, even as I continue to run! (Psalms 71:17-18)
A number of years ago, I was at a conference where the speaker was saying the same sort of things that were listed above. At that time, “Gen X” was the anointed generation, and the poor Baby Boomers who’d “failed” needed to stand aside and let the younger generation show them how it was done.
I turned to an older officer (who at fifteen years my senior, was clearly part of the failed generation), and asked him how hearing these things made him feel.
He just smiled a knowing smile and said, “They told us the same thing ten years ago. And they’ll be telling your kids the same in another ten.”
Does this mean that there is no specific, God-ordained “call” on the emerging generations? I absolutely believe there is! Every generation has a call on it to further the kingdom - Keith Green once said, “this generation of believers is responsible for this generation of unbelievers,” and that is an ongoing statement. But to assume that the call on the next generation necessitates and requires the nullification of the call on the previous generations is based in a spirit of pride and elitism.
If we allow, on a generational level, “clique maintenance” to become entrenched and therefore fail to embrace both the generations who went before and those who are coming after, we will find ourselves living out a modern version of 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, where Paul rebukes the Corinthians: (I am paraphrasing, of course) “One of you says, ‘I am of Gen X’; still another, ‘I am of Christ’,” (inferring that the others weren’t, I suppose). We will only see the cycle of prophesied promises turn into prophesied judgments over and over again.
My heart for all the generations and expressions of the Body of Christ is that we will stop finding ways of pitting people against each other (to bolster our own egos), and learn to bless what God is blessing, and to choose to walk in a radical humility (the opposite of selfish ambition) that prefers others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3).