Monday, May 20, 2013


Sunday evening service kicked off four days of revival, a different preacher every night and a special speaker, one quite knowledgeable about Biblical prophecy and current events, scheduled for morning meetings. The place was packed for this initial entry, people there from several other states thanks to our regular internet broadcast. Worship, as usual, was loud, upbeat, and bringing the body into a sense of unity, the Holy Ghost in the lyrics, but, for whatever reason, not overflowing to a point our knowing any real depth of His presence. Thirty minutes and three songs down the road, the pastor came forth to recognize a few visitors and receive an offering, becoming passionate in addressing us. “When you sit in this house”, he said, “You have come under a covering, a spirit of prosperity, because I have prayed and conquered that demon of poverty!” The sanctuary filled with rejoicing, the musicians providing a background as the granddaughter and this old man left… In “The Question of God”, a book written by Dr. Armand M. Nicholl, Jr. wherein the minds of Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis are compared, atheist psychiatrist and atheist author converted to Christ, Socrates is quoted as saying “The unexamined life is not worth living”. The finger is then pointed at all those who scrutinize every possible aspect of our universe, from billions of galaxies to subatomic particles, electrons, and quarks, but never take a deep look at their own image, who they are as a person. Then Pascal is added as observing that “If we were truly happy, we should not need to divert ourselves from thinking about it”, indeed, the sole cause of our unhappiness being “we do not know how to sit quietly in our room.” Forty-one years into a born-again relationship with my Maker, I find myself puzzled by the gulf that separates me any more from the roots of my faith, this Pentecostal bunch that now more resembles television evangelism, celebrity hype that moves the mass. The well is still there. I connect occasionally, His reality thick and moving in our midst. The mindset overall, though, leaves me sitting in the balcony, viewing from the sidelines. These are good hearts, some them known through four decades of what life brings to all of us. We just don’t see it from the same perspective nowadays and the guy who worries me is me. Everybody else hears voices and speaks “with authority”. Inside me is an “anchor-line”, a “hook in my belly”, a living witness that meets me, leads me as I go. Peace is maintaining that covenant…….


  1. Sitting in the balcony myself.... even happening in with old friendships these days. As you say, they are people with good hearts, just different perspectives I guess.

    1. I let the direction they were going "eat me up" for awhile, it festering to the point that I left the church for ten years, returning a while back when my oldest daughter was facing some health issues. The interim did me much good, leading me to a place where "church is church", Christ "in" me is a journey...

  2. We had a bit of that kind of thinking in the Vineyard church we were attending. I never quite got comfortable with it. But I also learned to take what I could use and leave the rest. Now we go to the country most weekends and I suppose we will eventually end up in one of the many small churches that dot the landscape around there.

  3. What I also meant to say was that, to me, the "prosperity gospel" type thinking implies the impoverished did something (or didn't do something, like worship God in the "right" way) to warrant their being impoverished and the rich guy just had a better "in" with God. Something like that!