Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free Religion Flush!

I could not resist sharing a recent post from Jose Bosque.   I can relate to the way our Father uses trials to purify us from things that are not of Him, including religion.   And Jose, we are standing with you and your family in prayer in your trials:

  Free Religion Flush!

I know this title must have caught your attention. That was my intention. Be assured this is no false advertising. I guarantee the Lord’s work.

With the current fire I am going through, with the sickness of my 2 year old granddaughter (seems I am always in some fire) the Father has used it to speak to me about the need to stay moored to the purity of the doctrine of Christ. We are living in a world full of contaminants to pure doctrine and every once and a while we need a good Holy Ghost flush.

This is not a new trick of satan. Read what Paul said to the city of Corinth:

2 Cor 11:3-4

3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.


If the world was not bad enough, there is always the friend who infects us with some bad doctrine they picked up disguised as godly advice and it is usually delivered like this, “why don’t you try this”.

I know many of you are going through your own fires. You can’t worship the Lord in the middle of your situation if you are so busy trying something new. I have assembled some of the worst culprits in hopes of flushing your system from the religious contaminants to good doctrine. They are not in any particular order.

1. A self-centered ministry mindset instead of an appreciation for the Body of Christ as a whole. The One Church of the Lord Jesus Christ

2. A Leadership which supports division in the body by the continual cheerleading of what they think as “their ministry”. Our “Brand” is the best brand and you don’t need to go outside our brand to get what you need.

3. An emphasis on external correctness of action (rituals, recipes, protocol, order of service, bulletins) instead of internal sincerity of heart.

4. An emphasis on external outer wear (Robes, Suits, Ties) instead on internal purity and attitude of the heart

5. A concentration on “the service” as if it the service itself had its own blessing in its performance. This is what Witchcraft and Voodoo practitioners believe. Instead we should see Christianity as a 24/7 lifestyle and service.

6. The service is for the people instead of for the Lord. A bless me mindset during for gathering (I’m going to get me some) instead of the sense of family coming together to corporately worship unto our Lord.

7. Number five leads to six which is to create an external visible special atmosphere through the use of lights, sound and effects instead of letting God’s Glory create the real thing. (the Afro-American culture uses the Hammond organ, Hispanics shout and get emotional, White culture dims the lights or wows you with the computer assisted show on the Big Screen). This creates a people that the only time they run is in church or after church to beat the rest to the restaurant.

8. A separate “persona” (language, dress, demeanor) on church property during church services than during the rest of the week. The ability to put on a religious piety like you put on and take off clothes. “God Bless You”

9. The whole Clergy –laity division with all its current masks.

a. an attendance or event instead of a gathering

b. the performers/the anointed/participating vs the commoner, audience receivers. The mental idea of “We are here to get what they are bringing”

c. the physical separation of the players from the season ticket holders. You are here to observe. God could not speak through you!

10. Another problem is the doing over the being. It creeps up on you, especially when you are involved in ministry. The examples are endless but the end result is spending less time with the Lord and more time with the people or the ministry. Even our Lord Jesus would pull away in the early morning to recharge His batteries with the Father!

11. A desire to use our spiritual gifts only during services or a detachment from ministry outside of the four walls. We want the microphone to speak to the congregation but we won’t open our mouths to share with our circle of influence.

12. The continual use of language which upholds and supports religious thinking which we claim to no longer believe. If the Church today is going to reform we must reform to the correct biblical definitions. Much of the church is unwilling to commit to the radical changes that will be required to reform the Church because they are unwilling to pay the price of rejection.

The final point is this; any form which hinders the Centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His direct relationship with his Bride (No Mediators) is not true Christianity. As I see it there are only three responses to this teaching;

1. You are boiling mad, to which the Lord responds as he did to the Egyptian Pharaoh “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”

2. You realize you may be involved in such a system but you are not sure how to respond. I would ask you to read a short teaching This Amazing Freedom We Have Been Given!

3. You are a leader with a sincere desire to change, reform and return to biblical Christianity. REPENT is always the first step, PRAY and ask the Lord for direction as to how to change. For anyone to give you the road back is to return to recipes. God will speak specifically to you because He loves His people and he desires that every hindrance to His Son be removed more than you do.

As you can see His church has a long way to go. Those who have received wisdom and revelation to make the necessary changes must be patient with those that are still in the process of maturity. It is a fine balance. We must at the same time not support, build up or approve those things which the Lord has torn down in us.

May God the Father grant us the discernment to know what to say and the Spirit of the Lord to know how to say it with love.

May the Lord be with His Church!
Jose Bosque

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Essence of True Kingdom Life

I am often asked how we "do church" outside of the traditional institutional setting. Truthfully, seeking to live out "Incarnational Life" in the Church is very simple. From my perspective, much religious bondage today is the "fruit" of the Information Age. We have a lot of bible facts and knowledge but we see very little transformation. My friends who put together these Global Communion Articles express what the Lord has been impressing upon me over the past year, and I'm thankful that these are men who don't simply teach these things. In fact, for them, its not so much about ideas, doctrines or principles, but a Person. The Word made Flesh lives in them and makes what they've shared here come alive.

Global Communion Articles - July 3, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

America's Prophet

As I have mentioned this is not a political blog. But I'm beginning to see how the lessons from the Lord of the last 2 years about the church, have huge implications in relating to our political system.

Some weeks ago, I watched a program where Bruce Feiler appeared as a guest. He's the author of America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story. As I started reading I was intrigued by an amazing connection he made: the revolution that produced our country began with another type of revolution: in the church. Here's an excerpt from "America's Prophet..."

In the early 1700's, churches were largely top down, hierarchical institutions: God chose whom to bless, ministers enforced ecclesiastical law, and individuals had little role to play in their own salvation.

But Americans were beginning to chafe under this system and were casting around for new ways of relating to power. The Puritan lament about the loss of piety, so powerful in the late seventeenth century, only accelerated in the decades of the eighteenth century with the rise of commercialism, the migration of young people into godless frontiers, and the advent of Newtonian science. Cotton Mather said the faithful needed to "bring religion into the marketplace." The religious revivals that blossomed in the 1730's, known as the Great Awakening, responded by introducing a new form of worship, one that became the foundation of an emerging American way of God. A new breed of charismatic preachers offered believers the opportunity to read the Bible themselves, hear the good news of salvation in a language that was inviting, and experience a "new birth."

Time and again, revivalists used the language of Exodus to stand up to the oppressive instituions, specifically the Anglican Church. Jonathan Edwards, the most intellectually potent of the Great Awakening preachers, preached that finding redemption in God meant coming out of "spiritual bondage" into a "new Canaan of liberty." George Whitefield, the firebrand populist and cofounder of Methodism, said that Moses experienced a "new birth" at the burning bush and was a Methodist himself. Whitefield was an unlikely messenger for his message. He was short, mousy, histrionic, and cross-eyed. His nickname was "Dr. Squintum.". Beginning in 1739, he made more than a dozen trips up and down the eastern seaboard, speaking in parks, squares and empty fields to the largest public gatherings North America had ever seen. In New England in 1840, he spoke to eight thousand people a day, every day for a month. In Philadelphia he attracted a crowd of thirty thousand. Historian Mark Noll called him "the single best-known religious leader in America of that century, and the most widely recognized figure of any sort in North America before George Washington." Fans praised him as "another Moses."

Together these Great Awakening preachers created the first intercolonial movement and a vital precursor to the Revolution. At a time when newspapers were rare and books expensive, the pulpit was still the dominant source of information. As one historian put it, "Ordinary people knew their Whitefield and Edwards better than they knew their Locke and Montesquieu." The Great Awakening's chief contribution was to introduce a language of dissent that emboldened people to challenge conventional truths and distant authorities. And what happened first in churches happened next in government. The Revolutionary period, preacher Horace Bushnell said, was marked by "Protestantism in religion producing republicanism in government"