I'm really hoping I can communicate this stuff in a way that will grab some folks or help people understand how silly all of our evangelical methods of evangelism have become and how it has all been reduced to some kind of intellectual assent to doctrines about what Jesus accomplished at the cross. I expressed early on in these postings about Philip the flaming evangelist going out to save the world .... I could trick anybody into "God talk"....actually it was more like "God listen".... :)
The Lord is so dramatically blessing our little Bed & Breakfast here in Vermont.... so much so that I have to really work at spending time with Him and somehow find/make the time to write another posting. There is no lacking in things He has given me to communicate..... just the carving out of time from all the loving and caring for those He just keeps on sending us every week.
It was just one of those things you never really forget. This guy was one of the full time Evangelists (capital "E") guys that I write so fondly about. Next thing you know he starts telling this very sad story about this poor old horse.... it had absolutely nothing to do with his message.... or anything else.....it was just a sad story.... about a horse.... the purpose of telling this story was to get people feeling "sorry" for the horse....play with the audience's emotions... soften them up so they were in a feel bad mood...
As I was writing the last post, I kept thinking about my friend Bodie's little "fishing story" that I posted on July 1st. It got me to thinking about how I was taught to fish..... the fishing I am referring to is not in the literal sense but in the Evangelical sense.... out of Jesus' exhortation to Peter and those other fisherman guys with Him..... when He exhorted them to leave their nets and He would make them "fishers of men".
One of Satan's biggest religious twists on what's written in Scripture.....only one of many, many twists and distortions..... has to do with this scripture from Acts 1.
"but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses"
The enemy is the Father of lies who would like any who have come to know God and have stopped eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Evil .... to begin to eat from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good........ it's the same stupid tree!
I think I will take you right down the front page of my new life with God.... I am not trying to put down everything the church has been trying to do to introduce people to a vital, living relationship with God..... I am saying it needs desperately to change... it has been producing intellectual Christians who get disillusioned, burned out, angry, resentful (you get the picture) and turn their backs on the whole thing because things didn't work out quite the way they were presented.
Hopefully....you've been able to see what it is that I got.... at least I have been trying to communicate it since I first put up this blog what seems like quite a while ago now......this is my 130th posting....kind of like a book at this point. And I like to think that everything I write has been about it!
So what on earth does one do with it..... once one gets it ?
Ah....now that is the question. It is always the question. We discover something...something really wonderful... really good.....helpful....exciting.... life changing..... Now.... what do we do with it?
Each time I would go back to the drawing board, I still didn't get it. I was absolutely convinced that I was supposed to do some great thing for God! Even after I saw the horror of what we were doing with the perfect church, it was more that we had messed up by trying to stamp out sin forever among God's people.... ending up controlling them, laying guilt trips on them and telling them what to do with the rest of their lives.... hearing us as God's Oracles instead of cultivating their own personal walks with Him.....
As Hitler gained control in Nazi Germany, the Lutheran Church there was as irrelevant as the churches in America today. My friend Bodie reminded me recently of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's (a Lutheran pastor) stand against Hitler, who was sent to prison and martyred 3 weeks before Berlin was liberated, at age 39. He wrote some letters from prison which were later published.
This is an excerpt from a letter he wrote from prison to his nephew who was to be baptized.