I only posted once last week because I had a writing deadline that I needed to focus on. And I am delightfully ecstatically happy that I turned it in yesterday! (all the praise and glory to God!! – seriously…)
So I’m back!
And I’m worried for the church.
I have been reading a crazy good book by Francis Chan called Forgotten God.It’s really, really good stuff and I find myself wishing I could invite Mr. Chan and his family over for dinner and just talk. (Anytime, Pastor Chan. Anytime! Do you like lasagna?) Oh, how I love to find people out there who say things that resonate so deeply in my heart. I know that is the work of the Holy Spirit – which is what the book is really about. I admire him for speaking up about the topic because it is such a polarizing discussion. The Body of Christ as a whole seems to have divided into this kind of “mainstream” Christianity and segmented off any Christians who talk about the work of the Holy Spirit into a fringe group of Christianity. So called “charismatics”. They have their own publishers. They have their own magazines. They have their own churches. And nary do the two worlds meet. But that’s kind of the problem with the labels anyway. When we label ourselves, we segment ourselves. He rightfully talks about how there is extremism and abuses when it comes to those groups, but he also shares about how that is not a reason to dismiss the importance and the need for us to understand and interact with the work of the Holy Spirit.
But Pastor Chan challenges those conclusions in a compelling way. Frankly, I already agreed with him on the points he makes. But it thrilled me to see someone stepping out and saying it so well. Well enough that I could point to it and say – read this! And I do highly recommend the book.
What it did do is challenge me personally though because sometimes I find myself censoring what I want to say because I don’t want to look like “one of the crazy ones”. No more.
Then yesterday I heard a fabulous sermon that was about Samson – and the Spirit of the Lord. And that brings me to my main thought – I’m worried about the church. Ever since I first met Jesus in college, I’ve frequently wondered why the Church often seems so…apathetic…aloof…and un-thrilled about the amazing God that they say they know. How can we be aloof about God??? It confuses me, and saddens me. I am thrilled that people are out there evangelizing and spreading the gospel to those who have never heard it, but I have always felt that my heartbeat, the passion that God put in me, has been for the church. That it would awaken from it’s slumber. That it would take the place of influence and power that it should have within our culture.
Keith Green, who sang with such a prophetic voice, sang a song years ago called “Asleep in the Light” that is still true today, and maybe even far worse…
The world is sleeping in the dark / And the church just can’t fight /Cause it’s asleep in the light
I leave you today with a video of him singing the song – it’s worth watching…