Aug 242013
 

blogIt’s all yours today.

It slipped my mind, but the Harvest Crusade started last night and will run through Sunday if you need to get saved. 🙂

  107 Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. Music is up for the week. The first song on the list was written and sung by Xenia’s son and it is beautiful! Drop by and have a listen!

    https://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/praise-worship-august-23rd-2013/

  2. Got my old pastor in there, erunner.

  3. Jim, Malcolm or Alwyn??

  4. Malcolm. I went to CC Merritt Island, Florida from ’84-’91.

  5. Derek…those cloud shots are beautiful…

  6. The storm ones? Those were the kind you keep your eye out for rotation, the tornadictype. But, comes with living here.

  7. The Harvest Crusades seem to be a form of Christian entertainment and most of the “saving” seems to be in the form of getting already God-believing folks back into a institutional church and back on the butt-warmer pay-train.

  8. Sitting back and listening to some Dave Brubeck after getting groceries.

  9. Jogged three miles this a.m. and am close to dropping below 10 minute miles. Taking our grandson for a haircut shortly. Boz scaggs and Chicago both did a song titled Lowdown.

    Jim, do you look back on those years as fruitful? Hope you’re well.

  10. Harvest is this weekend? Oh…….

  11. I spaced it…it irritates me. Evidently if you’re under 30 and like CCM God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.

  12. I know this is a link to something old but some off-line conversation got me thinking I should post a link to this review I wrote of Jeffrey Burton Russell’s book on order and dissent in medieval Europe. It’s handy to know that there are virtually no truly new debates anywhere. And Zwingli fans may be helped to know that debate about the nature of the eucharist emerged pretty much as soon as Western theologians attempted to define anything about it and that the debate emerged as critique of clerical power emerged, at the risk of simplifying an already broad overview Russell wrote:

    Anyway …
    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/08/jeffrey-burton-russells-dissent-and.html

  13. Which of Brubeck’s stuff are you listening to, Derek?

    MIchael, these days I’m apt to say that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life can ALSO be said about Judas Iscariot”. It is, technically, true, right?

  14. “Time Out” and “Time Further Out”. Finished them and now I’m listening to Thelonius Monk “Straight, No Chaser”
    It is a jazz kind of day.

  15. Judas didn’t have a wonderful plan for his life… John 6:70-71, Acts 1:6, Acts 2:23

  16. Maybe pilfering money and getting paid to betray the Son of Man seemed like a good plan at the time.
    Reminds me of a tweet I saw yesterday.
    Instead of “doing wicked things” we now “make bad decisions.”

  17. God’s plan for me today is fibro pain kicked into high gear due to a bladder infection and dehydration. Just started antibiotics and drinking lots of water, cranberry juice and Sprite.

    A.B. Simpson said, “Out of the presses of pain come the soul’s best wine.” I hope he’s right.

  18. Both Brubeck and Monk are great. 🙂

    I’ve become a little jaded about “God has a special plan for you” talk in the last few years. Maybe too jaded but it seems that “God’s special plan” and “I get to succeed in my planned undertakings” People up through the age of 30 may have an easier time assuming those two things are bound to be the same. Or even people past 30 who have never had to confront real failure in their lives.

  19. Erunner, those were very fruitful years.

  20. CK, thats a brutal combo…praying for relief, my friend.

  21. The pic of Greg L. at the pulpit (shot from behind) says it all. It’s quite a powerful visual of the emphasis on the pulpit (and the man standing behind it).

  22. Thank you, Michael. So, you think of me as a “fiend?” 😉

  23. Protestant churches are pulpit focused as the preaching of the Word is the focus of the service…the preaching of the Word is a means of grace being delivered to the assembled.
    Nothing nefarious there…until and unless the person preaching the Word becomes more important than the Word itself.

  24. Hilarious typo…though pretty Freudian for a Calvinist

  25. “the preaching of the word”

    I hear that over and over and over, yet in reality, it is the preaching of that particular pastor/gurus interpretation of “the word”…which is in a sense “the word of God”…and with all the differences of opinion…God’s “word” seems a bit non-uniform and quite diverse.

  26. OK-so the preaching of the Gospel is effectual for those who will be saved. With that in mind, isn’t “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” true, as it IS true for those who will be saved?

    I personally believe in the big “L”, but don’t have a problem with a preacher telling a crowd that Jesus died for them for the reason stated above.

    Help me out here….

  27. Jim,

    I’ve changed on my take on the “L”. I think Christ died for all…but that death is only salvifically efficacious for the elect. Thus, we preach promiscuously and let God sort them out.

  28. The “big L” illustrates the point.

    If you are teaching “God’s word” and all you pastors assume God is speaking to you and “giving you a word” for the folks etc…why so many different messages and such a broad range of opinions on rather big issues?

    Seems God would be more consistent with “his word” to all of you, no?

    …or maybe it’s not any more “perfect” and “infallible” etc than how he talked to those who wrote all the texts we call collectively…”the bible”

  29. The foundational doctrines are the same…we disagree on mechanics.
    My opinion is that all the different views give us a broader view of a God who is beyond our finite abilities to understand.
    The differences don’t trouble me in the least as I can learn from them all.
    I’m off to a BBQ…

  30. same old refrain, very specific and “God says!” at times, yet when scrutinized it’s “God works in mysterious ways and we just don’t know for sure” etc.

  31. The big “L” is a highly disputed matter. I missed the part where someone said, “God says!”

  32. Then why does it matter if it’s so highly disputed and you’re open that no one really knows for sure? Seems a lot of effort spent on so many of those types of issues, that when pressed, it’s “well, it’s highly disputed and we don’t really know for sure”

    Guys make careers out of these “highly disputed” issues, in fact, it seems to be the common practice of plenty of Gurus within every flavor of denominational Christian*

  33. I believe God will add to His kingdom tonight through Greg’s sharing. Some will rededicate their lives while others will figure fire insurance isn’t such a bad deal. I believe this while knowing what Ray Comfort and others have shared about these type events.

    My hope is those who do come to saving faith will land in a solid church, grow in their faith and share the gospel with others who will be saved and duplicate the process.

    Ultimately I believe we as individuals would see God work as we step out and share our faith with others.

    For something like tonight’s crusade I say “let God’s will be done.”

  34. Yup get them back in the institutional churches to sit on thier butts and pay their old testament style tithes its personlity driven and entertainment. Its a bore fest anyways

  35. Contradictory impulses and understandings are the bedrock of the human condition. It’s why anyone ever developed the concept of laws to begin with. As canons go Christians will debate about the Bible the way citizens of the United States will debate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. One of the Founding Fathers warned against the formation of political parties and yet each political party would, as best it can, claim to have that Founding Father’s ideas at heart.

    For instance, Americans can’t all agree on what the Establishment clause means but does that mean we get rid of it? No, it means we keep debating how to interpret and apply the Establishment clause while the Church of England is the Church of England. It also means that when church leaders and communities informally rig things in their favor that the existence of the Establishment clause means there’s some basis for making a legal case that that’s wrong. In a legal setting without such a clause the rigging of power in the favor of a state-church may be immoral but it is not strictly illegal, is it? I’d rather have a messy Establishment clause debate with the clause still in there than to not have the clause at all.

    By extension to another part of the First Amendment, the freedom of the press and freedom of association do not protect speech that is considered defamatory. Libel and slander exist even under the general agreement that the First Amendment defends free speech. If person A slanders or libels person B then person B has a basis from which to litigate against person A for defamation and that, too, is a protected right. We can’t protect one right without acknowledging that countervailing liberties, rights and protections have to be considered. That’s why we have to keep freedom of the press and grounds for defamation suits side by side. A person’s right to exercise freedom of speech never precludes the possibility of being the defendant or plaintiff in a defamation suit. Both elements must be considered. That not literally all speech is protected doesn’t mean the First Amendment doesn’t affirm freedom of speech and freedom of the press generally.

  36. Ricky Bobby said, ‘….same old refrain, very specific and “God says!” at times, yet when scrutinized it’s “God works in mysterious ways and we just don’t know for sure” etc….’

    Same old refrain. People of faith speak words of faith and trust in God. People of unbelief speak words of cynicism and scorn. People of true biblical faith trust in God, not in their understanding of God. Faith is ‘the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things unseen.’ Faith by definition is sure–not of itself–but of God. I know our culture has elevated question and doubt to virtue, but a simple perusal of the gospels reveals that Jesus values faith. Unbelief, not so much…

    Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

    Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

    And outside of the gospels there is mountainous biblical evidence that unbelief is not considered virtuous. Faith leads to rest; unbelief, not so much…

    Hebrews 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

    Hbr 3:19
    So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

    Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

  37. I made follow up calls for the harvest crusade one year. I was assigned six people to follow up with. We were told to make three phone calls per person, one week a part. Of the six I was assigned, I spoke with three of them one time, the other three I was only able to leave voice messages. Of the three that I spoke with, two of them did not take my calls after the first time.

    But that one person, that one person, I not only spoke with three times, but many more. She was a twenty something young woman looking for more in life; she was raised in a Christian home, but had never dedicated her life to Christ. We spoke many times, she had many questions. Her church experience was very legalistic; we talked mostly about the freedom that Christ gives, with great responsibility.

    She got plugged into a well-balanced church and our conversations tapered off, as she had real flesh and blood people to talk with.

    I pray she is doing well. That she is growing in the grace and comfort that is Christ Jesus.

  38. Good stuff there, jlo

  39. Thanks for sharing jlo. Bless you for the effort you put forth.

  40. Watching the altar call at Harvest. There is never a moment more real than when people drop it all to stand at the foot of the cross.

  41. Don’t get me wrong, I have a love – hate relationship with the whole harvest crusade thing. But I would give my all, for that 1%.

    The 1% that comes forward, that has a true experience with the one true, living God.

    I mean, don’t we all talk with people on a daily basis, how many of those do we really reach. How many truly hear the word of God in our speech.

    It’s not about what we say, or if we say it right. It’s about Gods timing, we only have to speak the words.

    The thing about a crusade is that you are shooting fish in a barrel; you are bound to hit one.

    So let’s go about our days, speaking Gods love, in the not so obvious ways, and see who we might attract. Seeing who might finds Gods love, in us, the one who seeks someone greater than himself.

  42. @42
    All the hype jlo,
    I was just making an observation after watching the live stream of the altar call. It was the only portion I watched. I also share your sentiments. All the hype and slick programming of Harvest is hard to stomach for me. The reality of it all is in those last few minutes.

    I was thinking back on the times I have responded to an altar call for various reasons. I understood in part the glory of His presence and the later necessity of the veil to hide the fading glory.

  43. whoa

    “All the hype jlo”

    All the hype shouldn’t be there. I was moving text around and didn’t proofread.

  44. catered our brains out today…four events. One funeral, one class reunion, a car dealership 50th anniversary, and a HS sports fund raising banquet/auction. A day off tomorrow for a birthday and back to school on Monday. Where did summer go?

  45. No hype lxtlan, just sharing my personal feelings.

    It’s all good.

    I love those last few moments also.

    Praying for that 1%, or whatever %, that comes to a true saving knowledge of our savior, Christ Jesus.

  46. Ixtlan,
    I just love the way you CC guys are taught to talk.

    “Watching the altar call at Harvest. There is never a moment more real than when people drop it all to stand at the foot of the cross.”

    I have not watched the scene you describe there, but from my experience, I am sure that there is neither an altar nor a cross anywhere near.

    So why do you talk that way?

  47. If even one person is saved out of ten thousand, I believe the event was well worth it.
    God will use what he uses and I will be glad he does.

    MLD you taking up the banner against Christianese?

  48. Derek,
    Most of these guys despise altars and crosses in their churches but cling to a language that is foreign to them.

    “If even one person is saved out of ten thousand, ” I don’t know, for the work and the expense, perhaps there is a more effective way.

  49. “I’ve become a little jaded about “God has a special plan for you” talk in the last few years. ”

    Don’t ever forget everyone’s “special” in a group of “special” people.

    The truth is what a preacher I know once said.

    “It seems to me that everyone wants to be used by God, and you know what everyone is used by God. But the real question should be do I want to walk with God?”

    What a truth!

    Have a blessed day!

  50. “I don’t know, for the work and the expense, perhaps there is a more effective way.”

    That is all the American church seems to be about, finding the most effective and efficient way.
    That way they can pat themselves on the back for having discovered it.
    Then, God goes and uses some more ridiculous or foolish way to save someone and people scratch their heads, ’cause it didn’t work according to the system they had discovered.
    Like I said, God will use what He will use.
    I don’t want to be the one who looks down on whatever method He uses.

    On and on the language, they are using them as a comparison. Everyone does it even outside of the Christian world in phrases all the time.
    Christians have a language all their own and it sets us apart.
    Just like G’s groups uses terms like “local expression of the church” to set themselves apart from “evangelicism”.
    People look askance at both. Just gonna happen.

  51. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308240017&gcheck=1

    Take an obscure bible passage, create a myth , then create a subculture completely distracted from Jesus’ story and message, and put it to film, no thanks, it would have been better to tell stories of courage using cinematography as art instead of propaganda and lies.

  52. We who were part of The Jesus People Movement were so self assured that we were rejecting the cultic additions to the bible when we repudiated our Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other “traditional” influences. We were convinced that our End Times revelation was rightfully engineered to scare people into The Kingdom, if that’s what it took to break their cold, cold hearts and bring them to Christ.
    What we wrongfully did is corrupt the purity of the Gospel and made it about escapism, and perpetuated utter lies twisting the scripture into saying what is doesn’t say.

    Every generation has its willing dupes, and I was one of them, to the wasting of much of my life.

    Another friend rightly summarized this…
    “Because fear works. And if you get results, you can raise money to show you are an “effective” ministry. But I wonder about the results that fear engenders. If you were a father, do you really want your kids motivated because they are scared of what you might do?

    Every time that God comes to communicate with human beings, whether himself or via “messengers” the opening salvo is “fear not.” These projects continue to justify themselves by the big numbers of souls they managed to shove across the salvation line. Not sure it works that way. And one day, they might have to answer for their mischaracterization of the living God whom they purport to portray.”

    I like my wife’s cogent comments, that now that the filmmaker is in the unfiltered presence of God, “He had his ‘aha!'”

  53. G, that makes about as much sense as apologizing for the years we were not potty-trained.

    I was a sinner, raised by flawed parents, both naturally and spiritually.

    But I am thankful for the days of my spiritual youth in the Jesus Movement, and grateful to the utterly inadequate people who brought me through.

  54. G, The man just died and I’m not sure why you would use his death to come against his work in such a heavy handed way.

    In the light of this man’s passing I prefer to take this statement from your link. “Doughten also founded Mustard Seed International, a nonprofit whose mission was to translate Christian films for use by missionaries around the world.”

    I was right in the middle of the action even taking people to see this man’s movies in the 70’s. And just like the Harvest Crusades that are heavily criticized today I’m sure God used these films and all of the flaws involved and brought many to Himself.

    I’m sure this man who has finished his race is worshiping the God he sought to represent during his pilgrimage here.

  55. Those who worry the most about God being mischaracterized usually worry that much because they have a characterization of their own they hold too and promote.
    But woe to those who disagree with them.
    Funny, those who see a pharisee behind every bush tend to be a bit pharisaical themselves in many ways.

  56. Erunner,
    I place him in the same ranks as Leni Riefenstahl who graced the world with “Triumph of the Will”.

    I understand looking back, being winsome about the impact during our youth, how we felt as we were terrified with our friends, the group dynamic as we were swept into a decision for Christ based on the fear of being “left behind”, and what I bemoan is the gradual realization that I was being played, big time, and distracted into a sidetracking of my spiritual and emotional energies, but am thankful that when I abandoned the mess for a focus solely on Jesus that I’ve been able to become grounded in a faith that is not subject to manipulation by the latest “prophesy update” from my well meaning constituency which continues with their well oiled religion machine.

    Erunner, what that man perpetrated on us was evil, so I’m definitely not capable or willing to be less forthright or couch my feelings in fluffery.

    I will similarly celebrate the home going of Harold Camping.

  57. Derek,
    You just don’t get it, and that’s ok, we can agree to disagree while I navigate through the many friends who have lost their faith due to our generation’s Great Disappointment, and prayerfully seek to focus them on Jesus, where we should have been focused all along.

    May you never be caught up in a distraction which savages your faith and shakes you to the core as it did to me.

  58. G, what exactly is an “obsure Bible passage?

  59. A Thief in the Night was not a standalone teaching – it is the exact teaching of all Rapture Theology people. Oh, they will deny it these days in public discourse, but it is exactly what is taught in everyone of their End Times teachings to this day.

  60. @56 – Derek, your comment above is very well said. Succinct and loaded with truth.

  61. I remember seeing A Thief in the Night at CC Downey a looong time ago. My dad asked if I wanted to go see a movie about the future, and I was thinking something along the line of Star Wars or Star Trek. I was disappointed.

  62. A Thief in The Night scarred me for many years. I was young when I saw it and i am convinced it really was warped in so many ways.

  63. The lived-out implications of Rapture teaching would be hard to overstate (I bailed on futurist/dispensationalism about twenty years ago myself). I can’t help but think of a couple where they were so steeped in Rapture ready stuff they felt it would be wrong to have children because if the Tribulation could kick in within the next few years it’d be wrong to have kids. So they waited until at least the new millennium kicked in, just in case. Now they have … a few kids. 🙂 It can be embarrassing to admit that you avoided having children because of Rapture teaching but I know people who can admit, now that they don’t buy the Rapture stuff, that it was a big factor in how they approached the possibilities of family life for years.

    While some may have jumped into marriage so they could have Christian-approved sex before Armageddon (a tempting easy comment to make) it wouldn’t surprise me if some people decided to avoid even dating out of consideration of End Times disaster befalling us all soon. I don’t remember if I ever saw Thief in The Night. If I did I can’t remember anything about it.

  64. To all the Harvest Crusade mockers. Seriously, You are able to discern a man’s heart, his call, his mechanics, his convictions and you are able to weigh it in the balances. Please. In light of even one life changed, I ask…how many came to Christ this week through your witness? A lot of very intelligent, smart people in this very small room of opinion. Let God be God and may you learn to be quiet and to know the love and fear of God. How about building some bridges and stop torching them? It’s character assassination on your fellow brothers and sisters friends. Think about it. The tongue is small member that can start a forest fire and burn a reputation and life.

  65. Sorry you feel it inappropriate to express our thoughts and concerns about this regional yearly event, but I’m going to do it and hope you can understand why it’s a concern, at least for me

    I stopped going because I’m not one to be persuaded by herd dynamics, nor do I think it to be respectful of how we come to worthwhile change. It’s not about an event, it’s about an ongoing embrace of the goodness of God.

    I wouldn’t bring my neighbors or friends to an event where I know they’re going to be asked, “If you were to die tonight where would you spend eternity?” because it believe someone is asking the wrong question.

    It should be, “Do you want to know God or know Him better?”

    My dialog with my friends and neighbors is consistently about the beauty and wonder of life, and recognizing the inescapable presence of God, and embracing His companionship, His care, His mercy, His committed and enduring work of grace in our lives.

  66. Statistically only around 2% of Billy Grahams Crusade converts actually go on in a walk with the Lord. The same can be said of the converts at a Greg Laurie Crusade. Is the expense justified for this model of evangelism?

    The Evangelist Lonnie Frisbee had a much higher percentage of converts who went on to walk with the lord then both of the above evangelist. He died poor and lived poor and yet he produced more fruit without the expense.

    Some one posted a comment above that the crusade of Greg Laurie is basically Christian entertainment. I would have to agree.

    There is no substitute for one~on~one evangelism which produces the most lasting fruit.

    For those who do not believe in evangelism…

    Proverbs 11:30
    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

    Evangelism has a short window of opportunity for all of us while we are here on earth because there is no evangelism in heaven.

    Jesus Christ died to save souls. His main objective. Shouldn’t it also be ours?

    I find personally find nothing wrong what so ever with the statement, “If you were to die today, would you have confident assurance that you would go to heaven?”

    Been walking with God since 1967 and have seen a lot of souls saved by me asking that simple question to initiate the conversation for evangelism. The fruit of that statement speaks for the validity of it in my own experience; using it as an evangelical tool in my one~on~one encounters.

    I do think that one~on~one encounters are by divine appointment only. And I try to keep sensitive to the call of the Holy spirit to enter into them.

    All heaven rejoices when there is a soul saved.

  67. I’ve always bristled at “souls” and “soul winning”.
    Jesus commanded us to deal with a whole person, clothe, feed, comfort, as long as a person will allow us we befriend, enrich their lives. The Kingdom is far more about a full spectrum of life, of engagement, of redemption of all of creation, not just “souls”.

    That verse in Proverbs, in context isn’t at all about religious conversion, it’s about living morally and ethically within the context of the snapshot of a full spectrum end life.

    This is precisely the contrast between event evangelism and lifestyle evangelism and why “crusades” are a sad waste of time and money

  68. Well, some people bristle at everything.
    No surprise there.

  69. I’ve only seen a Harvest Crusade on TV, probably back in the 90’s. While I’m not particularly a big fan, I don’t get the opposition.

    Who cares about the money? If it’s not yours is it really your concern?
    Christian entertainment has it’s place.
    Given the pretty massive response, I’ll take that 2% all day long.

  70. To Jeff Jones,
    I hope that no one has come to Christ because of my witness. If they have, they are in sorry shape.
    I only want people to come to Christ because they are called by the gospel.

    But the point I took earlier was they call people to an altar they don’t have and tell people to stand at the foot of the cross … which they don’t have. Many in the movement reject have a cross on display and all reject the notion of having an altar in their church.

    So why don’t they be honest, have a stage call and have people stand at the foot (feet) of the evangelist?

  71. Jim,
    The same people that bring up the waste of money would have also fussed about expensive oil or perfume being used on the feet of Jesus, “This money could have been used for the poor”. Sounds familiar.
    Anyone being saved from the judgement coming by placing their faith in the risen Lord….well who could put a price on that.

  72. Cheap shot. Not everyone who is concerned with money is a thief like Judas.
    Context, especially when considering stewardship.

  73. No, not saying your a thief, but it is sort of obvious your motives are wrong. If it smells faintly of evangelicalism, it is immediately a waste to you.
    Just, hyper spiritual christian snobbery in action.

  74. “I hope that no one has come to Christ because of my witness. If they have, they are in sorry shape. I only want people to come to Christ because they are called by the gospel.”

    MLD, seems like you’re just playing with semantics here. The witness of our lifestyle should be such that the Holy Spirit draws and convicts. The direct witness of our words, well…shouldn’t that be the Gospel itself?

  75. Every artist is a cannibal. Every poet is a thief. All kill for inspiration, then sing about their grief.
    – Bono

  76. “No, not saying your a thief, but it is sort of obvious your motives are wrong. If it smells faintly of evangelicalism, it is immediately a waste to you.
    Just, hyper spiritual christian snobbery in action.”

    Reeeeely?
    My motives are wrong that I’d prefer to be uber-practical and non hyperspiritual by being a better steward of the resources people sacrificially give?

    No, the snobbery isn’t coming from my side of the observation.
    Get a mirror and get a clue

  77. People SHOULD be attracted to Christ because of our witness. We judge as we are experts in the invisible world of what’s a real conversion and the authenticity of someone’s ministry. Christian, our love for each other, our life dedicated and lived out for him- that is what should be different from the world’s . We should be an attractant to the world’s need for Christ. We are called to be salt, light. Christ commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples. (Not salvation cards..) Knock Billy Graham, knock Greg Laurie, but “statistically speaking” how many became lifelong disciples after Peter’s mass conversion of 3,000 souls “added that day” in Acts 2? How many were there in actuality? How many that day did not “walk the aisle?” Pray tell, how many stayed in the faith? It was obviously a mass event. I would think 32,000 in a stadium on any given night worshipping the Lord and bringing their friends to hear the gospel is far better than anything the world has to offer. Better than nothing. Better than football. Better than anything IMO. If the Holy Spirit led Greg and gave him the call, the ability to draw mass audiences, then may God judge the fruit. Learn to love your fellow brother/servant by stopping your mouth. Let God parse it out. How many here in this room has the ability to attract 32,000 people three nights in a row and fill a stadium? Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. Anything is better than nothing. It may not be your ministry, but try to at least celebrate the diversity in the Body of Christ instead of ripping a man’s ministry and motives. Some of the enlightened here thought it was “entertainment.” I get that. Your opinion. To me, I was in tears as I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit touching people’s hearts and I was 500 miles away in my own small church. I was worshipping. Greg taught a very effective, anointed, study on the life of Jonah. He did it with precision and anointing and through prayer. I know this personally. I know His character and his heart personally. He didn’t ask for this type of ministry, he was called to it. Some of you here “went to the Harvest crusades” for awhile…. Did you ever get the joy of praying with a convert, did you serve at any or just one these events? Or just sit and do nothing. Then you have never experienced the pure joy of praying with a crying person asking God to forgive them and restore them. Please pray about it, then speak. Please. Pray.

  78. Preach it, Jeff Jones. Amen and amen.

  79. You’re acting as if these impressions and considerations of ours haven’t been prayerfully considered.

  80. While evangelical crusades are not part of my current church life (because I am not an evangelical) I must say a hearty Amen to Jeff’s #78. Amen and amen.

    It’s very tempting to adopt an attitude that says “Look at this carnival. I am ***sooo*** above all this” and miss the fact that people like Greg are God’s servants and are doing what God called them to do. Not how I would do it but that’s irrelevant. As Jesus said when a disciple was critical of someone’s ministry, “Leave them a lone. If they are not against us they are for us.”

    This is coming from me, Xenia, who is not overly enthusiastic about altar calls. But so what if Christians enjoy the entertainment provided? it’s better than going to a typical pop concert where the singers blaspheme God, which many Christians claim they have the freedom in Christ to attend.

    And the only TV show I watch these days is Duck Dynasty.

  81. Very well said Xenia.

  82. Thanks, Jeff. I don’t post much these days but I thought your magnificent post need applause.

  83. Really? So glad you’re amused.

  84. Dear Xenia, thanks. My heart breaks when I hear these comments about ministries that are connecting and making a difference, yet are treated with mockery and contempt. We have no authority except what has been given to us by God. By the grace of God go we. I really should not even comment here because of the negativity, the infighting and, well, look at the comments each day.

    G., honestly, In my heart, I do not think you have ‘prayed’ over your comments. When you say in your #68 that you bristle at “soul winning” well…what I hear you really “bristle” about is what the Bible teaches: “..to go and make disciples of all nations.” and that “He wins souls is wise.” Who is your “God” that would bring such a ridiculous and inane thought into your head? Who do you pray to that would oppose Jesus’ message and commandments? Not Jesus Christ. That is for certain. I fear for you – that your “knowledge” has bewitched you into a distorted view of the real gospel message.

  85. So, even though I have maintained that I have prayed over my outlook and views that’s just not good enough for you, because, oh maybe, because we simply disagree?

  86. So, if I keep praying then I will ultimately agree with you?

  87. G,

    I waited a couple of days before I said anything and hopefully my opinion was prayerfully thought out.
    Some will disagree, but I’m ok with that.

  88. How about you go reread my concerns, pay about what I’m saying, and then fast a little, then send the $ to a group like London’s who does something tangible to express the Gospel, getting backpacks to kids, or donating that $ to a group that feeds kids?

    What I’m maintaining is that a “soul” is a “life”, multifaceted and in need of ethical responses, not just intangible feel-good religious events but true and honest actions that provide for what kids and the needy need, sort of like how James told folks to show their good works in tangible ways… Life winning, not merely “soul winning”

  89. Michael,
    My perspective comes from prayerful years, but that’s invalid because I haven’t prayed specifically in the way that I should.
    …yep

  90. G, it doesn’t feel good to be judged unfairly yes? I have to agree with some of your statements and in all honesty, it’s between you and God alone. The Bible (The Word) and the Spirit of God do not contradict each another. Your #91 is seasoned with sarcasm and may I ask if you have gone before me in these godly deeds? Are you practicing what you preach and retort? The answer to your questions to your #91 are yes, yes , yes. Everyday, practically, personally, I drive the streets of my town and pray and search out the needy and give food, shirts, and money to those in need, so thanks for asking. And as I do, I share the Gospel with them hoping to give them the Bread of Life. But don’t allow your right hand know what your left hand is doing. But my conscience is clear regarding your question.

    The multitudes came to Jesus to get food, and their needs met like healing. Jesus came to them for the purpose that they would repent and believe on Him. They go hand in glove.

    Souls are not in need of “ethical responses” they are in need of salvation first from hell. Then they become ethical as they grow in Christ. For man who went and sat under Chuck and even helped with the Maranatha! Concerts in the Jesus Movement, you’ve gone a long way away baby. A soul needs conviction and Greg Laurie has been used greatly to help bring that conviction and ability to show people their need for Christ. When you start knocking “events” and such, I think you are narrow minded and jaded and limit what God can do through all different ways of spreading the Gospel message. (Romans 1:16)

  91. At least when we complain about how the government uses money, we can say that a small portion of it was once ours before taken in taxes.

    Hard for me to think Jesus tells people in prayer to criticize other Christians for how those Christians use THEIR money – especially given the warnings about judging another man’s servant – but hey, one thing about someone leading their opinion with “God told me” it sort of ends the discussion right there – because now to disagree is to disagree with God.

    I tend to remind people God does not “tell us” stuff that goes against the teachings of the Bible – but then again, I see the Bible as an authority for Christian faith and living too.

  92. Jeff Jones said, “The Bible (The Word) and the Spirit of God do not contradict each another.”

    Then why do you believe God tells you one version of what the bible really says (which is your teaching version of “God’s word”)….and so many others, even in your own Tribe, have a different “word” from God?

  93. I’m going to leave my thoughts there. Grace and peace.

  94. “G, it doesn’t feel good to be judged unfairly yes?”

    Um, let’s put it this way, you obviously still haven’t read the Proverbs passage you cited. It’s about social justice and ethics.

    I don’t care about how much you miss the mark in your critique of me, only that you are continuing to stifle honest dialog and critique of something that impacts our local SCal culture.

    Have a day.

  95. Wait. Can we go back to the part where you guys send me money? :mrgreen:

  96. Sheesh. It was just a joke.
    Dang.

  97. Your “honest dialogue” seems to put down the ministries of faithful men, where only God should occupy the seat of judgment. That’s why I made the mistake of commenting here today. Greg Laurie and Harvest Crusades gets mocked and condemned here instead of just saying nothing or commending them for trying to reach the lost. Instead they fall under your judgment and criticism. Pithy put downs and opinions are the norm here. You want to get an opinion and honest dialogue, then just attack a fellow believer who is faithful to his call. Two of the men on that platform last night lost a son and daughter recently and Satan tried to discourage them like Job, but they both took their ministry up a whole notch. (Greg and Levi) While Greg is preaching and serving, his life long secretary (like a mother)is fighting for her life with cancer and the ministry intensifies. You try and knock them down, but they immediately get up and declare that they are dead to themselves and alive to Christ. They are men of character and they are going to fight to the death because they are convinced of the Gospel’s message of hope. But it’s okay to knock ’em around by calling them “celebrity pastors” et al? Can you just accept God works in different ways and stop with the mocking?

    Social injustice and ethics were reconciled on the cross. The cross puts to death the “intellect” of man and man’s pride and ego. The cross and resurrection defeated the judgment of hell. True faith and conscience rejoices with all the angels of heaven when ONE soul is saved. Here, when a sinner gets saved, the preacher who was the messenger gets mocked and a social justice and ethics discussion break out as the way to heaven. Interesting. (BTW- I AM from SoCal and steeped in it’s “culture” – interesting how it is the same as Foresthill, CA. Depravity and the rejection Jesus Christ as the world’s Savior lives like a cancer in both places and in every city of the world…..wherever there is a human soul, there is the need for the Gospel to be preached. Only Jesus can cleanse and make new a sinner’s heart. Yes? Guys, I am so done with the criticism whenever CC or Harvest is mentioned. Know this-you know nothing. You put it out there for the world to see and you will answer for every unjust criticism. You can take that to the bank.

  98. Jeff,
    This is really funny. At first i was just yanking the evangelical chain about using altar call with no altar and foot of the cross with no cross – but the reasoning behind your defense is ludicrous.

    So, it the Lutheran churches in SoCal rented out Angels stadium, 2 of the pastors had children die and the church secretary had cancer (this seems to be important) and they put on a big marketing program to invite people to bring their babies to be baptized – would you be applauding this effort?

    So the results – 100,000 attended and 9,000 babies were brought into God’s eternal kingdom through the baptismal font. Is this good? Did you invite you friends to come to the Harvest Baptism?

    I will bet that you would be one that would tell your people to stay away. It’s the same way I feel about Greg’s Finneyism.

  99. “Social injustice and ethics were reconciled on the cross.”

    What the heck is that supposed to mean?

    “… a social justice and ethics discussion break out as the way to heaven.”

    Who the heck said that social justice and ethics are the way to heaven?

    Social justice and ethics are the very :: fruit :: that the people of God are known by and entrusted with as a standard for God’s Chosen People, the Jews.

    Interesting that the verse you initially quoted reads…

    Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.”

  100. I would totally visit an event organized by Lutherans renting Angel’s Stadium to baptize 9,000 babies. I would even wave at MLD from across the stadium

  101. “Social injustice…was reconciled at the cross.”

    Huh?!

  102. Xenia, as usual speaks grace and truth.

  103. London, I wasn’t talking about your joke.

    Here is an example of Christian snobs getting together and berating everyone that isn’t like them.
    https://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes

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