Monday, April 22, 2013


Francis Chan stepped into my radar at least a couple of years back, a friend pointing me to a You-Tube copy of him preaching a sermon entitled “Luke Warm and Loving It”. He had a book out at the time, one called “Crazy Love”, but I kept ignoring the impulse to purchase it. With nothing to read while on vacation in Pensacola, however, his latest, “Forgotten God”, caught my eye at Barnes and Nobles, held my attention, and has fed me well, its pages devoured at least twice since. Hopefully, our Wednesday evening Bible class can discuss its content after we conclude with Tozer. In just the introduction, this author speaks of a “tragically neglected Holy Spirit”, and “entertainment model of church adopted in the 1980s”, and how “we are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God”. The line that says it all, though, is a suggestion that “Perhaps it’s not theology we’re missing, but rather theology with integrity”. Now that will rattle some sabers… My own roots are in Pentecost. I was “born-again” into old-time holiness on March 27th of 1972 and have watched it lose most of its legalism as it chased Charismatic television evangelists into its present state. If we, as a denominational body, have over-“theatricised” the Third Person of the Trinity in our midst, seeing ourselves as somehow authorized to operate under the anointing regardless of whether or not the Anointed is in it or not, it might also be said that too many others seem to have settled on the extreme other side of that condition, His reality reduced to ritual if maintained at all. It amazes me God’s patience with our humanity. It bothers me that those who come to our altars connect with Christ only to drown in doctrinal dogma that fails them in the journey that follows, health, wealth, and prosperity not necessarily an automatic benefit secured through conversion. Laodicea, it seems to me, crept in somewhere along the way and we are too busy counting our “blessings” to look in the mirror……


  1. Holey Moley yes!! One of the things that got/gets under my skin is the "Jesus-is-my-boyfriend" songs. Same lounge/bar songs, different acceptable-church-friendly lyric. Anyway, just my personal pet peeve.

    And another big yes about the health, wealth and prosperity business. Just to give you a visual, I'm rolling my eyes over that stuff. There are some preachers I can't even listen to for 2 secs without wanting to groan, upchuck or scream...

    1. I watched a fellow on television years ago go through his method for delivering people from tobacco, having all those seated before him to throw their cigarettes up on the stage, indeed specifically pointing out certain individuals holding back. Satisfied he had caught all in need, he had them repeat a prayer after him, at one point the words being like this: "Lord, thank you for delivering me from this filthy nicotine habit; and if I ever smoke another one just take me straight to hell..." You could actually hear some in the congregation gasp and draw up short of a full commitment. There are, undoubtedly, Mich, some out there operating under false motives. Others, I'm not so sure about, their theology far from what I find to be truth, their heart seemingly wanting to only serve Him. In the middle of it all, people get healed, get saved, God's grace at work in spite of our vanity and error. Jesus said for us to be wise, to sort it all out with Him, and then leave it for Him to deal with on Judgment Day.....

  2. "and if I ever smoke another one just take me straight to hell..."

    Glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee when I read that one. Hopefully none of the cigarettes he had them throw on the stage were lit!

    True, Jim. His time, His plan, His call. More and more I think "what do I know" and "oh man, am I glad I kept my yap shut."