Sunday, May 23, 2010


The Error of Egotism

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I am pleased to share more life bearing words that challenged and encouraged me. I received this from Don Atkin today, and believe it will be a real source of edification for you:

Dear Brethren,

Following is a "LETTER TO A RELUCTANT PROPHET" - excerpts by Chip Brogden. This seems to me to be a timely word for all of us. I will add a few more comments, particularly about the apostolic, at the end.

LETTER TO a RELUCTANT PROPHET-excerpts by Chip Brogden.

Dear Friend,

It is with a certain fearfulness that I respond to your inquiry, for I
am not an authority on such things. I can certainly relate to your
reluctance at being identified among the company of the prophets
when so many false apostles, prophets, and teachers abound. I
wish I could point you in a proper direction, but I can only point
you towards the Lord. It is He who selects His messengers, and
I have nothing to offer you by way of what to do.

At most, perhaps you can look upon me as an example of what
NOT to do, and take some word of counsel from a weak brother
who has made many mistakes and endured many failures along
the way. Perhaps you too will have to make even the same
mistakes in order to learn, yet following my advice could perhaps
help you to avoid the unnecessary heartache and cruelty inflicted
upon yourself and others when thinking that you are doing God a
service. I would counsel you, first of all, to be a Christian. Do not
spend too much time focused on that which is prophetic. Do not
come to others as a prophet, but as a child. Let Christ be your
obsession, not the prophetic word. For "the testimony of Jesus is
the spirit of prophecy." There need not be turmoil in your heart
about your calling; it is clear that you are among those that are
"the Called, according to His purpose." And what is His purpose?
That you be "conformed to the image of His dear Son." That,
above all, is your first calling. Many are eager to wear the Prophet's
mantle, but are reluctant to bear the Christian's cross. This cannot
be. Given the choice between Christian or Prophet, choose Christian.
Serve God as the earthen vessel you are, in the place you find
yourself to be.

Perhaps the Lord will indeed use you in some prophetic way, but
if not then at least you have been faithful with the "one talent" you
have been given. God will not give five talents to those who cannot
be faithful with one, and will not give ten to those who cannot be
faithful with five. If you are a Christian first you will remember that
you should walk softly, with meekness and humility, while
esteeming others as better than yourself. Then the prophetic word,
when and if it comes, will be seasoned with the appropriate amounts
of mercy and grace.

Remember that without love you will inevitably become as
sounding brass - all judgment. If we cannot or will not stay in Love,
God will set out to humble us shamefully before our brothers and
sisters that we may know the depths of our hypocrisy and
self-righteousness. That is evidence of HIS great love for all of us.

Now, concerning the prophetic word itself. God will give you the
"what", but the "when" and the "how" are left up to you. "The
spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." You can be
right on target with the "what", but if you screw up the "when",
and especially the "how", you do yourself and others unnecessary

Let us not only be familiar with His Word, but let us become
acquainted with His Ways. It is not enough to memorize what
He said, we must take His yoke upon us and walk in tandem
with Him. Since Christ bids us to "learn of ME", beware of those
who will try to gain access into your life with an inordinate desire
to mentor or shepherd you. We may certainly seek the advice,
prayers, and counsel of other mature believers. Even the little
children in the Kingdom of God can teach us much. But people
can only carry us so far... Do you see dear friend, that God
is more concerned with the messenger than the message? Do
you see that the minister is more important than the ministry?

If the messenger is wrong, the message will be wrong too. If the
minister is wrong, the ministry will be wrong. And do you see that
the Lord of the work is more important than the work of the Lord?
Meditate on these things. There really is no famine of the Word
of God. If God is able to find the right vessel the Word will come
forth in abundance. Therefore, He takes much time to mold,
fashion, train, refine, purge, break down, build up, discipline and
create His prophets. Yield to that process. It cannot be rushed,
but it may certainly be hindered. We cannot force the Spirit, but
we may certainly quench Him. Ah, your gifts are given to you in a
moment's time, but your fruit, your character, YOU, develops
over many seasons of God's dealings. Do not be thrilled with
your gifts, only observe if you are fruitful in Spirit, bearing much
fruit, abounding in love, joy, peace, faithfulness, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, meekness, and self-control. You can be
sure that there are more gifted people in the world than you, yet
the fruit is what will remain when the gifts pass away. Never
neglect the place of abiding in Him, and you will remain a fruitful
branch in the Vine. Expect misunderstanding. Expect persecution.
Expect ridicule. Expect mistreatment. Expect suffering. Expect
rejection. Then, you won't be surprised when it comes. And when
it comes, shut your mouth, go to the cross, and die so you can
live. Learn to kiss the hands that nail you to the cross, for as you
are decreased, He is increased. It is not a better living we need,
but a better dying. We cannot reach Pentecost but by way of
Passover. There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion...

Be afraid of the praise and acceptance of others, for they are the
fertilizer for the self-important and grandiose thoughts that are
yours by nature anyway, which spring up in the shallow ground
of your carnal mind. Carry about the Death of the Lord so you
may have the Life of the Lord. Be ready to suffer with Him, that
you may reign with Him. And now, some practical advice: As
much as possible, stay away from money...

Be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Before, you would never
apologize even when you knew you were wrong. Now, be willing
to apologize even when you know you are right.

This is my counsel, dear friend, and perhaps something I have
said in this brief letter will bear witness with you. With these
words then, I commit you to the care of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Who is able to complete the work which He has begun in you
and see you through to maturity, as you are rooted and grounded
in Him, being thoroughly equipped and strengthened by His
Might which works in those who have taken up the cross to
find power in weakness... --Chip Brogden.


From Don Atkin

The second phase of the apostolic restoration has begun, and is meant to bring the entire church into apostolic reformation. Every restorative emphasis that we receive is meant to make a permanent and transforming deposit in His body. These movements are to be cumulative, we are to lay hold of the heavenly impartation, and then move on into the next phase as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.

Luther Reformation - Justification by Faith
Wesley - Discipline/Holiness
Pentecostal Movement - Gifts of the Spirit
Evangelical - Burden to reach others with the Gospel
Charismatic Movement - Priesthood of all believers
Teachers - Emphasis upon Scripture
Prophetic - Emphasis upon seeing/hearing
Apostolic - Emphasis upon the Foundation - Christ Jesus

In all of the above, without exception, failure to move on with God into the next phase of restoration/reformation has perverted and compromised the purpose of that particular phase. We are not to "camp" there and remain exclusively involved in only that move. We are not to "denominate" ourselves by any one part, but we are to become fully orbed by continuing in Christ.

One example that we saw in the Charismatic Movement: All believed that they were called to the ministry! Truly, they were. However, the pattern of the church as they saw it identified "the ministry" as pastors or evangelists. If you liked to travel, you must be an evangelist. If you liked to stay home, you were probably a pastor. Thus, God's purpose was corrupted because people concluded wrongly in their unsanctified, unrenewed minds. Yes, all believers are called to the ministry, a ministry that is not corrupted by a false laity/clergy dichotomy.

Similarly, we are now in a time when God is illuminating and restoring the apostolic to the church. The apostolic seed (sDNA - read "The Second Incarnation" available at in every believer is being stirred. This means that all believers are to become "apostolic." It does not mean that all believers are apostles. This wrong understanding is pervasive right now, primarily because of what exists in the church. Adding an apostolic layer to the church in its present condition is not God's objective. It is a further perversion of what began in the Spirit.

Much of today's church is still largely bound by religious tradition and does not facilitate an accurate understanding of the apostolic seed—Christ in us, the hope of glory—and the ultimate affect that God is after in this current restoration. The sDNA in each believer is intended to center that believer on Christ, the Foundation and Apostle of our faith. The Sent One in us wants to send us, not necessarily as apostles but necessarily apostolic.

We need apostles to exemplify and nurture that apostolic seed in God's people.
We need prophets to bring additional foundational strength through what they see, hear, counsel and proclaim.
We need evangelists to rightly proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, setting free the captives, healing the broken-hearted, etc.
We need shepherds to tend the flock of God on their migration toward a city whose Builder and Maker is God.
We need teachers to rightly divide the apostolic doctrine, filling out the body of truth for the maturing of the body of Christ.
We need elders to exemplify Christ life and patiently guide and protect the flock of God.
We need deacons to lift up the hands of the elders and the ministry gifts.
We need believers who are willing to follow Jesus fully.

Only the apostolic seed (sDNA) can make us what we are supposed to be and empower us to do what we are supposed to do. The discovery of Christ's apostleship within prophets does not necessarily make them apostles. God's intends that there be prophets who grasp and function within the apostolic framework. The same is true of all other gifts, all other saints. What we are by the grace of God does not necessarily change. Yet, we are all to become apostolic in the sense that we are all "sent" for someone, for something.

So long as we try to be somebody, we remain nobody.

When we are willing to be nobody, God will make us somebody.

Chip Brogden has ably counseled us all in how to posture ourselves. I recommend that you read his letter again, and simply replace the word "prophet" with "apostle." Or whatever!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Forgotten Ways

It is a pleasure to take a break from the weighty and controversial series on leadership and "laity" (still in process) and share some a key ingredient of the transformation the Lord is working in his people. From the beginning of this now 2 year journey, the Lord has birthed a desire in me to see ALL of His church reflecting His glory. While the religious system makes much of special events and "special" people, I believe our God wants to unlock something He's put in ALL of us. Christ in us is the hope of glory! This is a theme that runs through just about everything I've read in recent days. I long for the day when more and more of God's people truly walk in their destiny, unhindered by religious systems and small human thinking. The truth is the reality of Jesus' incarnational presence in His people is dynamic and contagious! And yet so many of us are hanging back, somehow convinced that the works of God are for someone else more "spiritual" or "gifted" than us. This thinking is clearly a mindset that sets itself against the knowledge of Christ and must be destroyed.

So in order for all of us to advance to see the life of Christ recovered among His people, we have to learn The Forgotten Ways. The gospel has never changed. But we've lost our way, encumbered by centuries of religious tradition. Now the Lord is removing the scales from our eyes and a growing army of God's peole are walking in a greater measure of Kingdom life.

I'm currently reading the book, The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass. I just passed through a section I'd like to share with you. He's discussing the early Church, and the Chinese church... both flourished under persecution.

Persecution drove both the early Christian movement and the Chinese church to discover their truest nature as an apostolic people. Persecution forced them away from any possible reliance on any form of centralized religious institution and caused them to live closer to, and more consistently with, their primal message, namely the gospel. We have to assume that if one is willing to die for being a follower of Jesus then in all likelihood that person is a real believer. This persecution, under the sovereignty of God, acted as a means to keep these movements true to their faith and reliant on God - it purified them from the dross and any other unneccsary churchly paraphernalia. It was by being true to the gospel that they unleashed the power of Apostolic Genius. And this is a huge lesson for us: as we face our own challenges we will need to be sure about our faith and who it is in whom we trust or else risk the eventual demise of Christianity as a religious force in Western history - witness Europe in the last hundred years.

In pursuit of the answer to that question, the question of how these phenomenal Jesus movements actually did it. I have become convinced that the power that manifested itself in the dangerous stories of these two remarkable movements, is available to us as well. And the awakeneing of that dormant potential, is available to us as well. And the awakening of that dormant potential has something to do with the strange mixture of the passionate love of God, prayer and incarnational practice. Add to this mix, appropriate modes of leadership (as expressed in Ephesians 4), the recovery of radical discipleship, relevant forms of organization and structures, and the suitable conditions for those to be able to catalyze. When those factors come together, the situation is ripe for something remarkable to take place.

To nail down this rather elusive concept of dormant (or latent) potentials, recall the story of The Wizard of Oz. The central character inthis well-loved movie is Dorothy, who was transported in a tornado from Kansas to the magical Land of Oz. Wanting to return home, she gets guidance from Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, who advises her to walk to the Emerald City and there consult the Wizard. On the yellow brick road she acquires three companions: the Scarecrow, who hopes the Wizard will be able to give him some brains; the Tin Woodsman, who wants the Wizard to give him a heart; and the Lion, who hopes to obtain courage. After surviving some dangerous encounters with the Wicked Witch of the West and numerous other nasty creatures, they eventually make it to see the Wizard, only to find out he is a hoax. They leave the Emerald City brokenhearted. But the Wicked Witch, perceiving the magic in Dorothy's ruby slippers, won't leave them alone. After a final encounter with the Wicked Witch and her minions, they overcome the source of evil and thereby liberate Oz. But through all their ordeals and in their final victory they discover that in fact they already have what they were looking for - in fact they had it all along. The Scarecrow is very clever, the Tinman has real heart, and the Lion turns out to be very brave and courageous after all. They didn't need the Wizard at all. What they needed was a situaiton that forced them to discover, or activate that which was already in them. They had what they were looking for, only they didn't realize it. To cap it off, Dorothy had her answer to her wish all along: she had the capacity to return home to Kansas - in her ruby slippers. By clicking them together three times, she is transported back to her home in Kansas.

This story highlights the central assumption there and gives a hint to why it has been called The Forgotten Ways: namely, that all God's people carry within themselves the same potencies that energized the early Christian movement and the Chinese church. Apostolic Genius lies dormant in you, me and every local church that seeks to follow Jesus faithfully in any time. We have quite simply forgotten how to access and trigger it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Controlling Christian Leadership and Lazy “Laity”

Breaking the Vicious Cycle
Part 1: The Problem

I write this with a heavy heart. Because for much of my Christian life I’ve watched a myriad of excesses and abuses in the Body of Christ that I’m sure break the heart of our Father. And the pathologies seem endless.

I begin by affirming several things. God is God. He is on the throne where He has always been. Jesus is building His Church, irrespective of the foolishness we mistakenly engage in under His name. The truth of God is eternal. What God proclaims in His word is timeless. It doesn’t change with the culture or when religious people will it so.

If you’ve followed this blog you know we’ve been on quite a journey over the past 2 years, especially over the last 9 months.
We began by leaving a church planting ministry we were a part of for 15 years. In the latter days of our time there we realized the calling of the Lord upon us (and others) could no longer stay within the confines of this wineskin. For the most part this ministry was doctrinally sound. The problem was, there was a general contentment in “thinking correctly”. In general, the church never moved into “faith that works in love”. What seemed to prevail was a self-righteous sense of theological superiority and snobbery. Faith without works is dead.

2 years ago we were encouraged by the vision of another church planting ministry. There was a great sense of promise and anticipation as we began meeting in our home. But along the way, while this ministry spoke a different language, of mutuality and mission, of a Biblical church resembling a circle rather than a corporate pyramid, the same “religious governmental” control and honoring of men ultimately poisoned the waters. Our Lord made it clear to us: God’s people must not exercise authority over each other. We quickly found the exit and never looked back. In fact, anyone who hears the words “submit to my authority” or “our authority” in its many forms should prayerfully consider finding the exit door, or create one!

All the way back to my conversion as a teen, I have longed to see the church restored. Last summer I realized my vision of restoration was corrupted by roughly 1800 years of human tradition. Simply “cleansing” what is will not do. The entire way we “do church” is based on a flawed and perverted religious caste system that separates people into two groups: leadership and “laity”. Most of us have known this chasm is unbiblical. The problem is we’ve been too lazy to learn where it started, and too cowardly to tear down the golden calf.

The church Jesus is building is In Him, through Him, for Him and all about Him. He will not share His glory. There’s no room for “star” preachers or musicians. Ephesians 4 leadership is about function, not position or governance. These leaders function “among the people”, not above them. And the church Jesus is building is a 24/7 family. It doesn’t revolve around meetings, but around relating to the Lord daily, not in an individualized, personalized introverted way. Which means relating to other members of His family is a daily lifestyle. We are knit together in Him in love. The strength of the early church was its “house to house” relating to each other around Jesus throughout the week. True leaders model this by opening up their homes and lives, not by standing behind a pulpit and preaching at people, then retreating to an office to minister by appointment only.

Leadership is also exemplified by mutuality. New Testament leaders know they need the ministry of the body just as much as the body needs theirs. Too many “pastors” believe they have so much to offer, yet they are uninterested in receiving input and correction. This is mainly because of the broken “Roman” paradigm that exalts leaders above others.

This false “church” system is driven by human power and control. Leaders make their showing in the flesh with boasts of “attendance” and “offerings”. The best of “servant” leaders inadvertently obscure the view of Christ as the Head of His Church. “Members” are more conscious of their pastors than the rule and reign of the risen Lord. In the worst of scenarios, cult like control is exerted over the flock, producing homogenized religious robots that practice their brand of mandated lifestyle legalism. Women are reduced to wallflowers, or even property. An outward religious conformity is enforced while inward purity of the Spirit is neglected. The other casualty is freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Based on this truth alone, the Spirit is clearly grieved by much of what we are doing. Because “holding the Head” isn’t the priority, people are devoted to a brand, a denomination, a man, or even a group of men instead of Jesus. And stupefied “believers” are unable to see themselves anywhere but “under” the ministry of Reverend so and so or this church or ministry. People outside it are viewed with suspicion.

Soon after we left the first church planting ministry, we noticed several blogs that popped up months before, to reveal abuses previously concealed under the veil of “loyalty” and “honoring leadership”. While I wish these sites were unnecessary, I understand that they were posted as a last resort. And while every story posted isn’t gospel truth, most of the time we can be sure that where there is smoke, there is fire. And you can always count on religious tyrants to decry “gossip and slander”, though many of these same leaders do the same as they share personal information on those in their care among themselves under the false banner of “pastoral covering”.

As for the big picture, the Church the Lord is building is based more on geography than on brands or other labels. The Father wants the glory of the Son to shine in His people, so people Citywide can see Jesus. Our cities need Jesus. Our neighborhoods need Jesus. They won’t see Him in all His glory and splendor through us if our true devotion is to “our church” or “our pastor”. Our expression of what we call church must not overshadow His. The false boundaries we’ve created through a myriad of “congregations” separates family in a way that flies in the face of Jesus’ prayer that we would be “one”.

So I’ve thoroughly excoriated leaders. Now let’s talk about the so-called laity. Let me first say the Lord has always given me a soft spot for His people and a godly jealousy to see His people “espoused to one husband”, Christ. I am outraged to see leaders abuse and exploit God’s people, and I’m sure that will never change. And I continue to believe they bear most of the responsibility for where we are. Having said that, after nearly a year of detox from the institutional church, I’m ready to unload on non-leaders.

Problem #1 is this: most so-called church members do not KNOW God. (The same might also be said about leaders). Sometimes they aren’t even born again, so they’re looking to find spiritual nourishment and affirmation vicariously through “holy men” as if listening to sermons will make them spiritual.

And among those who are born again, too many have unwittingly transferred some (and in some cases most if not all) of their devotion to leaders rather than to God. God will speak if we will only listen. But it is all too easy to tune our ear to the men standing above us on Sunday morning and the star preachers who cover this or that truth or theological insight. The Spirit that bears witness with our spirit is drowned out by the voices of men. As a result we become increasingly powerless, bearing less and less resemblance to the Church that turned the world upside down in the first century. These were clearly not people who needed step by step directions from their pastors to walk in faith to preach and live Jesus. The aspiration was to be “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom”. These were not merely “good” people. These were men and women pushed out by the Spirit to fearlessly take Jesus to the world. They had no concept of inviting people to come and hear their preacher so they could sign a card and get dunked. The fragrance of Jesus filled the air. The world saw Jesus in His people! They didn’t just carry a message… they were a message. So the church is at its best when people are able to see Jesus through His body… not just hear sermons from its leaders.

What we’ve lost is the practical evidence of the “priesthood of believers”. We are all priests. We are brothers and sisters. No one is above us but Jesus. And to bow our knee in the church to anyone under the banner of Christianity is nothing less than idolatry.

I abhor the abuses of leaders through legalism and lording over the flock. But if we clearly read and accept our position in Christ as the scriptures proclaim, we will NEVER give any man the power to abuse us in this way. The abuse of manipulating people for money will end. Walking in fear of what pastor so and so will say or think will evaporate. Jesus is THE authority and we are all subject to Him, and because His authority is working in us, we also submit to Him through others as truth is revealed. But ultimately the submission is to the Lord, not to a person. Anyone who teaches, preaches, or demands otherwise is subverting the authority of God, cutting you off from the Head. If you’ve ceded this authority to a man, or a group of men, go to the Lord now and repent! If you are one who is demanding or expecting this from people, you need to repent before God, then go and repent of your error before the people you’ve entangled in bondage and ask their forgiveness.

The “Roman” captivity of the church, whether it’s passively produced by Sunday morning performance driven meetings, or controlling people’s lives, only succeeds when you and I don’t know the truth. If we are too lazy to seek the Lord on our own and spend merely token time in His word we get what we deserve.

Sadly I’ve also seen very fresh examples of lording over the flock in the organic church movement. Getting rid of “Roman” captivity is a futile pursuit if we run right into the arms of another form of religious autocracy. A pyramid is a pyramid, whether the church meets in a building or in a home. If any human is controlling your life and not Jesus, it is not only dangerous, it is also idolatry, a grievous sin against God and you must put an end to it.

I see many parallels between the Church and America. Our government is supposed to be “of, by and for the people”. But it depends on “an informed electorate”. If we are too lazy to read the constitution and we fail to demand that those we elect, submit to it, we get what we deserve. The brand of “public servants” we get will continue to be those who simply serve themselves in public. The same is true of the Church. If we continue to passively submit to people who usurp the authority of Jesus and the Word, they will take more and more power over us and use us to advance their “ministry”, rather than equip us for the work of ministry. It is that simple.

I believe the Lord is putting the ax to the root of our church system. He wants to be Lord of His own church, not simply a figurehead while the “real” human leader runs the show. All too often people quote Revelation 3 as an appeal from a sad, pathetic Jesus, knocking on the door of the sinner’s heart, begging him to let him in. The truth is Jesus is knocking on the door of what is purported to be His church, trying to get in. It could be that our “gospel preaching” and “praise and worship” is too loud to hear the knock.

Coming your way soon… the Better Way. How we break this ugly cycle and see Jesus glorified in His Church. Parts 2 and 3 are just around the corner.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

This is not the first time I've read this item by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But after getting this from friends, I thought it would be good to share it with all of you. Its amazing that Mr. Spurgeon died over 100 years ago. I think you would agree that he could have easily written the same article today.

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted 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" (Mark 16:15). 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.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

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" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him 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 this gospel of amusement! Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

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 halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the 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 spirituality, 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.