Sunday, September 25, 2011

The King's New Clothes

Two words have recently captivated my conscious mind. No, they are NOT Facebook & Google. They are subculture and counterculture!

My spirit says that we have become the former but Christ's intention was that we be the latter!

As a sub culture (a social group within a national culture that has distinctive patterns of behavior and beliefs) we are, in essence, still a product of the Western/American, Capitalistic, Individualistic, Materialistic & Humanistic way of life.

It seems that the 'house of the Lord' which WE have built looks more like a theological house of cards or the mirror image of the American corporate icon than a "new and living way."

I am afraid that such heretical thoughts may give birth to an experiential encounter with Christianity, not as a religion or system of believing or thinking but as a new way of living - and living by a new and divine source of life - the Holy Spirit.

Then, I/we may discover the true meaning of the phrase Counter-culture:

'A culture with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture.'

Unfortunately much of what is touted as counter cultural within modern or post modern Christianity, is simply an attempt to dress up traditional Western Christianity in new, more fashionable and acceptable modern attire! It is conforming Christianity to modern thinking or ideas rather than the image of Jesus Christ.

It is, in essence, no different than the evangelicalism it seeks to displace.

Friday, September 2, 2011

All The Pyramids Are In Egypt or Are they?

I have maintained for many years that the "church' has been erroneously patterned after a pyramid structure with "leadership" occupying the top tiers and continuing on down to the "people" or laity who reside on the bottom of the structure and it is their job to support the structure above with their time, talent and treasure.

As a new believer having experienced a powerful conversion, the Holy Spirit spoke to me one day and told me to take out a sheet of paper and draw a pyramid. I was then instructed to draw various bisecting lines beginning at the top. Next I was told to label the top tier as apostle or pastor. The next division underneath was labeled elders, then deacons and various 'offices"or functions, The last division, occupying the bottom and largest section of the pyramid was labeled members or laity.

When the diagram was completed the Lord spoke again and said;

"What is this?"

I responded, “It is the church,”

I immediately received a resounding, "NO!"

"It is the American corporation!"

I immediately recognized that I had seen this drawing before in High School. All I could say was "Amen". I knew this was true. Subsequently I was instructed to "take the pyramid diagram and Turn it upside down!"

As I stared at this inverted image I heard in my spirit, "This is MY church. See how the ones who were formerly on top and were supported from below now bear the weight of all those above."

Immediately I recalled the word of the Lord:

33 They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. 35Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”


20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” 23 He *said to them, My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt: 20

This revelation really upset my apple cart. It has revolutionized my understanding of "ministry (service) and "church". No longer do I desire either position or power except the lowest position - that of a slave or servant. In writing this I am once again brought into remembrance of one additional beautiful picture of service.

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing thatHis hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 *got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, If I do not wash you,you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord,then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher andLord; and [b]you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." John 13:

My lesson continued, " See how the one who was formerly on top and supported from below now bears the tremendous weight of all those above. This is MY church."

Then the Lord showed me how “the Gentiles Lord it over one another but it will not be so among you. For he who would be greatest must be the servant of all."

This revelation has ruined me for the worldly corporate or organizational or institutional church” paradigm that I had been conditioned to identify with the Lord's 'church".

In addition i came to realize that the true pastor or leader is not at the top. Further more i understood that there is no office of head pastor or leader. ?the term pastor would be better translated as Shepard one who cares for, guides, and protects sheep. the term 'pastor: is one of function - it is not an office or position. When it comes to the position of a "leader" there is only one prescribed position.

I must always remember the example and teaching of our Lord who said:

"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you." John 13: