A crisis in the church : Revival Church Sunday
I'm working on my 2010 calendar, and also have availability certain weeks during the rest of 2009. If you would like to schedule me to minister in your church or at your conference or event, visit www.praytherevolution.com/booking.
- Revival Nation Church– Join me in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada THIS SUNDAY morning at 10:30am as I minister the fire of the Holy Spirit. We can caravan- just let me know if you’d like to go and we’ll head out as a team. Email me at [email protected].
- Revival Church– Sunday evening we’ll contend for a strategic and overwhelming move of God in Detroit. Passionate and prophetic prayer starts at 5pm and we’ll flow right into the service at 6pm. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com
- Revival Radio– Join us every Monday at 8pm Eastern for prayer and discussion on advancing toward revival and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/radio
- Jeff Garvin– Jeff will be back with us in December for THREE NIGHTS. Friday, December 5th he’ll be at the International House of Prayer East Detroit and Saturday and Sunday evenings he’ll be at Revival Church. www.ihopedetroit.org
I wrote a book titled The Terror of Hell about an encounter I had with demons who were dragging me into the Earth- toward Hell.
I can’t begin to communicate the absolute terror that I experienced that night in the early 1990’s. However, the message that has caused me to tremble in the fear of the Lord ever since is this- many church goers, many people who have faithfully attended and supported the churches on the corners throughout our nation will be shocked beyond measure to find themselves in Hell one day.
I won’t go into the detail that is best found in the book, but suffice it to say that there is a critical connection between one’s salvation and one’s intimate relationship with Jesus.
I feel the infamous ‘sinner’s prayer’, when handled wrongly, can easily become a ticket to Hell instead of Heaven. We must never over-sell the prayer. We can’t guarantee someone’s position in Christ simply because they are having a rough day and decide that they want things to get better, and hope a prayer does the trick.
I was at an event recently that caused me to cringe. A pastor was leading a large room full of people, many of them children, in the sinner’s prayer. At the end of the prayer, everybody repeated after the pastor, “…thank you Jesus that I am saved.”
Is it possible that many of then may go through the rest of their lives with a tragically false assurance of their salvation?
A Crisis in the Church
Allow me to attach this to the emotion that’s raging in my heart right now. There is a move all across churchdom against the experiential reality of the Holy Spirit. People are increasingly anti-emotion, anti-trembling, anti-encounter, anti-feeling. It’s a left-brained world that’s resulting in a logical, passionless ‘connection’ with religion.
For me, to not be emotionally impacted in the presence of God should send red flags flying! How can we simply stand there are grin as the power of God burns around us?
Understand, people are tired of hype, false representations of the activity of the Holy Spirit, etc. They should be. I am too. However, the right reaction is not to deemphasize the dramatic, experiential activity of God. The appropriate response is to contend for it and settle for nothing less!
To dismiss the norm of living a revelation and encounter driven life, to not expect a biblical life to result in an inner trembling that never ends, is a terrifying proposition.
We can’t call for the presence of God to invade our lives and be absent of a powerful, prophetic, weighty encounter.
Here’s a great quote from someone who has grown tired of ‘charismania’ that I fully agree with:
- If I ever experience the “manifest presence of God” where human flesh cannot stand, that’d be great. But until then, I choose to avoid pale imitations.
Here’s other quote that causes concern:
- I’ve come to believe that the only definite thing we have to go on is what is promised to us in the Bible. And I don’t see the Bible as advocating an experience-oriented faith.
There must be an alarm sounded. God is real. He is to be encountered. He can be felt. He can be heard. This is a serious issue to say the least.
Speaking to the comment above:
“I’ve come to believe that the only definite thing we have to go on is what is promised to us in the Bible. And I don’t see the Bible as advocating an experience-oriented faith.”
August 31, 2009
A question asked by Bert Waggoner:
Why is theology Important?
Submitted by rhemarodaw on Thu, 08/20/2009 – 14:16.
I have been plugged into the Vineyard since 1984- Anaheim, CA. The apostle Paul said, “Study the Logos of God to show yourself approved of God.” I'm sure Paul was not referring to “devotional” readings. As disciples of Christ, we not only need to know what the Scriptures say but also what they mean. “Gain knowledge, and with knowledge gain understanding, and with understanding gain wisdom.” I understand this genre of wisdom to be the practical application where the-rubber-meets-the-road in our daily lives of this knowledge. Jesus lived out this knowledge in his daily life. Christian theology is a way of life. A lifestyle. Jesus said, “follow me”. He “modeled” sonship and daughtership for us to the end that we would be motivated by Love (agape) and our experience of that Love to be set free from in order to be set free to serving others in liberating them from oppression, bondage, and captivity by proclaiming the Good News- God's Kingdom has come and is coming. I'm thrilled that the Vineyard has formed a scholastic community of theologians. To use a term coined by Rich Nathan, “Empowered Evangelicals” is in my opinion the best of both worlds- The Rhema and the Logos
National Director & Senior Pastor
The Vineyard USA
I propose that we, The Vineyard, would do well to return to our roots in the context of our original philosophy of ministry as developed by John Wimber. John was the best kind of theologian- an experiential or “true” theologian. He made the spiritual journey inward to God through his psyche as he was drawn to do so by the Father and came back to begin his journey of healing and wholeness but just as importantly not unscathed. He was as we all are now- “wounded healers” in process toward wholeness being used by God in Christ empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit and motivated by an Agaping heart to facilitate the liberation of those being held captive- “Power Healing” & “Power Evangelism”, John Wimber. I was shown great Mercy and given Grace by the Father in June of 1984 when the Holy Spirit led me to The Vineyard in Anaheim, California. I figuratively crawled through the door and then began the most astounding process of healing and restoration I could never have imagined possible. Our journey is the destination and truly “the way in is the way on”. My great hope and prayer is that The Vineyard will in fact take the risk of ridicule, criticism, and judgementalism that John faced- “The Way it Was”, Carole Wimber- and return to the more “authentic” expression of The Church as we have been given a clear view in the manuscripts of Luke and Paul and most certainly the Gospels. Let us begin anew do'in the “Stuff” that Jesus did! Let's do our theology as an act of worship and as our faith in action among those who are perishing in this world today.
Please find attached an introduction to the paper I intend to submit for acceptance by the Vineyard Society of Scholars who will hold their first conference in Texas in February of 2010.
My Most Sincere Regards,
R. “Rod” Alan Woods
A Wholistic Theology: The Both/And: The Best View of Objective Reality
R. Alan Woods
San Diego: Rhema Rising Press
Why is theology important? Well-defined questions more nearly always produce the most useful answers. I propose that a better question could be asked: What “kind” of theology is important. In the context of the history of the Vineyard I understand that “experiential theology” or real theology (“the attitude which maintains that this kind of theology can only be developed by men who know these realities from personal experience”- Morton Kelsey in his work, Encounter With God: A Theology of Christian Experience) was and is the desperately needed counter-balance to the “intellectual theology” born out of the philosophy of knowing and knowledge developed by Aristotle and promoted within the “Church” by Thomas Aquinas and further ensconced by the worldview produced by Newton's understanding of the material universe. Plato would have been startled and amazed by such a one-sided worldview where Nature is the only experiential reality! Where's the Super Nature? What place has the Archetype? Where the dreams, visions, and auditions just a “figment” of man's imagination? Was sixty-five years of pioneering work by Carl Jung that produced real and tangible results in the healing and wholeness of human beings’ psyches and bodies for naught? Thank God for Jesus of Nazareth! The Numinous made Matter! The God-man. What comes to my mind and memory here is something I remember John Wimber say, “Just be naturally supernatural when you're doing the ‘Stuff’.” Both economies/realities are operationally co-existent. As C. S. Lewis has said, “When men adhere to one side of a paradoxical truth and ignore the other, then they go into error.” It is the both/and, not the either/or mentality that gives us a view of “objective reality”.
. I'm quite sure our call in the Vineyard to “cultural'” relevancy is predicated upon Paul's statement implying that we be all things to all men so that we may win some to Christ. Paul learned quickly through trial and error that men were more likely to be won to Christ when they had a direct, powerful (dunamis) numinous experience with God. In other words he failed in Athens when he used just the intellectual theological approach! It seems to me that regardless of the cultural context in which God makes direct contact with men, it is of more importance that these men have a framework or worldview as it were in which to know that it is possible. In Christ, we as Christians become neither Jew nor Greek nor anything else other than a “new creature” in Christ Jesus that produces or manifests the complementary new culture of Christian community (I refer you to Robert Banks work, “Paul’s’ Idea of Community” as a general theoretical orientation to my meaning here). Paul was adamant about keeping the Gospel pure as it was delivered to him by Christ. In so far as it was possible within that framework, Paul became all things to all men. Once they became “enlightened” or “En-Godded” (a word used often by Leanne Payne in her book “Listening Prayer”), they were reoriented to a new reality and a lifestyle reflected in Christian community as their newly acquired identity as a unique cultural base.
III. Kingdom of God: “Is Within/Non-local Reality”
IV. Com-Mission: Isaiah 60/Liberation Theology- Inner Healing (“Power Healing”, John Wimber)
V. God In Christ: The Great Re-Connect
VI. The Vineyard Philosophy of Ministry: “Do’in The Stuff”- The Gifts of The Holy Spirit
VII. Transcending Cultural Relevancy