Things I Think…

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31 Responses

  1. Victorious says:

    Michael- I discovered a simple perspective and suggestion on a FB thread. The FB post and others were trying to supply details about the CC/Vineyard divergence of pathways. It gave many people opportunities to share their experiences of receiving and/or ministering during those seasons. The suggestion that delights my heart was shared by Marry Ellen Stipe. She brought to light the lasting relational damage and fallout that happened because of that. She made the point that this aspect needs to be discussed and she prayed that any future Jesus Revolutions would learn from this. I wholeheartedly agree, it has been on my heart and on my radar for a loooong time. Any healthy family system or structure that is embracing a pathway of maturity will make room for such discussions even though they are plagued initially by fear and a low joy, lack of capacity sense of any fruit coming out of them. There is healthy shame, the ability as an individual and as a people to embrace a healthy message of correction that affirms our true identity as a people to live out of the “Heart Jesus Gave to Us” vs toxic shame which manipulates with guilt and consequences or suppresses healthy interaction. I have and live out of the hope that another avenue of ministry that was hidden from the limelight but also began during the Jesus People revival in So Cal is providing the capacity to live out and experience the relational realities of the “one another’s” that given to foster healing and capacities of Hesed love for the body of Christ.

  2. Michael says:

    vic,

    I saw her comment…and she’s being circumspect and careful.

    I had many long conversations with Tom on this issue…and he was shunned by many until the day he died.

    There are facts around this whole story that take the shine off the movie for me…there is a place for historical fiction as long as one recognizes the work is a combination of both…

  3. prodinov says:

    Being in Denver during the time that the Vineyard gained traction, I recall when Tom Stipe went from CC to Vineyard and then back to CC. It was a challenging time and obviously much behind the scenes. What I do recall is the Vineyard/Denver and Vineyard/Boulder had much corruption in terms of pastoral misconduct and many of those associate pastors serving under such leaders started their own Vineyards in Colorado which remain to this day questionable in terms of faithfulness to the call. Tom remained faithful to the end and he endured even when those around him flailed with sin. Makes one wonder about how one can maintain sanity when exposed and surrounded by such misconduct. Either way, Tom Stipe was one heck of a musician. And one heck of a preacher. Sorely missed.

  4. Michael says:

    prodinov,

    Tom had flaws like all men…but he wrestled hard with them.

    He also had more wisdom and understanding of how these systems work than anyone…I just wish he would have left a record of that behind.

  5. Jean says:

    “4. It is my studied belief that institutional evangelicalism is immune to revival…it has descended too far into political idolatry…on the right and the left…I do pray that God sends refreshing to His weary exiles…”

    This one got me thinking about the “He Gets Us” campaign. To evangelize with it you would need welcoming churches with a “We Get You” motto. How could the body of Christ be any different than her Head?

    My memory of the Jesus movement was basically He Gets Us / We Get You. The way things are now, unless you actually experienced the 70s, you probably would never believe that sort of hospitality ever existed in the American church. We may be to culturally segregated (physically and/or in spirit) to ever tollerate a large scale revival again.

  6. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I truly believe that unless God blows up the silos we now live in, revival is impossible…

  7. Officerhoppy says:

    @#10–transgendered women are now being able to compete against naturally born women in weight lifting. Another blow for women’s rights—IMO

  8. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    It is an anti-woman movement…and insane.

  9. Linn says:

    #9-As God changes us individually, it does leak out into our social, family, and spiritual circles. On several occasions I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that they didn’t used to be Christians. Then, they observed Christians, found a place to worship, and changed…”and I was watching you the whole time and I wanted what you had.” It always humbles me when I hear that, as I was very unaware. Our following Jesus should cause change in people (see 2 Cor 2:14-17).

    As to the transgender issue, I think (and pray!) that in the next ten years we will discover what idiots we were to even consider it. I know that the whole “trans-sexual” condition tragically exists, but that’s less than 2% of the population. I find it interesting that the highest number of people coming out as trans are autistic girls. There are many things to look into psychologically and socially, but the noise is so loud from trans proponents that I think it will be a while before that happens.

  10. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    For the bonus thought, deliverance has never really gone away enough for it to have a revival … although if someone in Scottsdale plumps his feathers as he has lately he’s been shilling that angle since he had his Nixon moment here in Seattle. I’ve got an 85 book reading list on diabology, exorcism, Enoch literature and spiritual warfare I’ve been slowly pecking away at over the last few years and as Koholeth put it, of the writing of books there is no end! Some of the books are spectacularly good (Robert Ewusie Moses, Esther Acolatse, Graham Twelftree, Amanda Witmer) and others are as awful as Phoenix Preacher regulars would expect a book by Rick Joyner to probably be.

    James S. Collins has a really good survey of evangelical, fundamentalist and charismatic/Pentecostal deliverance ministry writings from the last 150 years. The title escapes me but he even touched on the crazy work of Rebecca Brown M. D. at one end and the substantial exegetical and historical work of Clinton Arnold on the Artemis cult in Ephesus at the other.

    Spiritual warfare writings have come in several varieties. There’s the self-help tripe, the mainline stream drawing from Hendrik Berkhof and G. B. Caird (whose books on powers and principalities in Pauline literature are actually pretty good, honestly), and the more Merrill Unger through Clinton Arnold scholastic fundamentalist/evangelical stream. By the 1970s Unger complained that there market was already glutted with books on fighting demons and things have not changed much in the last fifty years at the pop or academic levels. I started into Archie Wright’s new book on the history of Satan and it’s pretty solid so far but it’s still stuff I read from Jeffrey Burton Russell and more recently from Ryan Stokes.

  11. Dave Lindsay says:

    Michael:
    You predict the coming return of “deliverance” ministries – but we already have DoorDash and Uber Eats!
    Dave

  12. Dread says:

    I have a differing perspective on deliverance ministry … while being aware of its limitations and abominable potentialities …deliverance ministry often serves as a prelude to great expansion via evangelism. It is certainly debatable but both in the book of Acts and in the history of missions deliverance ministry (or other signs and wonders) often lead to awakenings in people groups.

    In conversations with some other friends I too predicted a fresh wave of deliverance ministry in the church. Revival and deliverance are co-travelers. I speak as a benefactor of such ministry in personal life, but don’t chaff is that offends others. Such things always offend.

    And … the grifting Michael bemoans will accompany the glory.

  13. Alan says:

    Alas … habits… that was indeed Dread … and it was I.

  14. Michael says:

    WTH,

    I don’t have time to read extensively on the matter…do any of these volumes deal with the book of Daniel?

  15. Michael says:

    Dave,

    You forgot WalMart…which is a huge blessing to me!

  16. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I am utterly convinced that 95% of both the prophetic and deliverance ministries are pure grift.

    I note that Greg Locke has a movie coming out on the topic…the new Bob Larson.

  17. JD says:

    I’m going to be focusing more on my personal relationship and prayer ministry to individuals, and waste less time or paying much attention to another’s public square cash source error ridden and pride soaked minusthree.

  18. filistine says:

    I hear banjo music…

  19. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Weirdly, I “do” have one book in the sprawling reading list but it’s this one, which tells how delimited its focus is in the title.

    https://brill.com/display/title/6685

    Matthias Henze’s The Madness of King Nebuchadnezzar published by Brill only deals with the animalization episode/related lore of Daniel 4.

    Crazy expensive because it’s Brill but you might be able to find it at a university library in your part of Oregon?

    What elements of Daniel are you interested in? I’m wondering whether the Michael Heiser books I haven’t really gotten to yet don’t mention Daniel a bit and the kindle editions of his work are, at least, affordable last I checked.

  20. Michael says:

    WTH,

    Daniel 10 makes implicit references to hostile spiritual beings behind nations…and seems to assume certain angelic protectors as well…

  21. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    ah, I think the late Michael Heiser got into that in his books but I”m too early into those to know for sure. Will keep you posted as I get further along in those books (The Unseen Realm; Reversing Hermon; Demons respectively). David E Ritchie’s little book on the demonic nature of nationalisms just grazes the topic of nationalism, spirits and the like.

  22. Alan says:

    God is not mocked. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they are inexorable. Take the story spun around Daniel again. After fifty years of captivity, God had at last raised up Cyrus to deliver the Jews from Babylon, and God’s people chose rather to remain in exile! Daniel, fasting and praying, creates a fresh opening for God. Into that breach God pours the vision of future life in a restored Holy Land, as an enticement and lure to coax Judah home.

    Prayer is not magic; it does not always “work.” It is not something we do, but a response to what God is already doing within us and the world. Our prayers are the necessary opening that allows God to act without violating our freedom. Prayer is the ultimate act of partnership with God. Therefore God allows no groveling. Daniel throws himself on his face before the divine messenger, but the angel touches him and rouses him to his hands and knees. The angel orders him, “Stand on your feet.” Daniel does, but cannot speak or stop trembling. The angel touches his lips, and again his body, infusing him with the strength and power to speak the message he has received. God is no eastern potentate demanding obeisance. God puts us on our feet, fills us with power, and sends us on our way.

    Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 4425-4428). Kindle Edition.

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan
    Was God’s response to Daniel’s prayer the way God acts with every one or specific to Daniel’s story? It’s an honest question.

    I’m asking because for 50 years I’ve heard sermons that take the story of Daniel and fill us with hope that god will respond the same way to us. Only to have my hopes dashed.

    Know what I mean?

    I have to honestly say I can pray a great prayer. But in my heart, I doubt it accomplishes much—other than making those who hear it calm.

    Love to hear your counsel.

  24. Alan says:

    Officerhoppy

    I was posting Wink concerning Daniel 10 in response to Michael’s conversation… Wink struggles mightily with the questions you raise and notes the strangeness of a passage telling us both that God does respond and that his messenger is hindered in that response and God’s response is delayed.

    “If the Powers can thwart God so effectively, can we even speak of divine providence in the world? If our prayers are answered so sporadically, or with such great delays, can we really trust in God? Can God really be relied on? Is a limited God really God at all? We have to face these questions, because our capacity to pray depends on some kind of working idea of God’s providential care for us.”

    Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 4406-4409). Kindle Edition.

    Wink is a fascinating and provocative writer.

    As for me … I have much testimony of answered prayer… and unanswered … and un-prayed prayers that are desires uttered with groanings… but prayer is knowing Christ and entering his holiest place.

    I am not wise to truly answer your question but I am fortified with enough grace to carry on undaunted and yet troubled.

  25. Michael says:

    “I am not wise to truly answer your question but I am fortified with enough grace to carry on undaunted and yet troubled.”

    I may put that on our banner …well said.

    I will have to revisit Wink…I see very different things than he seems to, but I have not fully heard his argument…thank you for the reference…

  26. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to answer my question. I am trying to pray more with the understanding that God at least engages with my prayer. For years, as a pastor, it just seemed to me to be a religious exercise.

  27. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’ve got Wink’s trilogy in my reading list but haven’t gotten far into it yet. I got to Hendrik Berkhof and G B Caird first and they both have great little books that do not really deal with Daniel 10 but it’s good to know that Wink “does” tackle that.

    I’ve read some African theologians and pastors who find Wink hedged a lot on the powers and principalities but things are different in African contexts where spirit possession is a known thing and the pastoral concerns are different in a number of respects. Wink is probably the single most important writer in the mainline trads on powers and principalities of the last forty years. I just haven’t gotten to him because I’ve gone through Twelftree and Witmer and Acolatse and Daniel K Darko quicker.

    So it’ll be interesting to find out what I think of Wink when I get further along into his work.

  28. Linnea says:

    Regarding the Jesus Revolution movie, and in particular, Lonnie Frisbee, I loved what John Ruttkay had to say about Lonnie and God’s spirit through him. I met and prayed with John at a Jesus Gathering last August. He’s genuine.

  29. Reuben says:

    On Denver and Boulder Vineyard….

    Yeah….

    I did it all, including the “Sons of Thunder” routine. Years of therapy have not resolved an ounce of that life. I’m a full blown alcoholic because of CC and Vineyard. I self medicate because there is no alternative. At least my former god never provided one.

    Tom Stipe was a good man. I fell in love with my wife 30 years ago sitting in that man’s singles class. Tom was a different breed of movers and shakers. I am glad he left Vineyard. James Ryle was not the type to be hanging out with.

    I had my one and only “spiritual” experience at Vineyard in Denver, then known as Church In The City. A prayer “event” was happening, and the “pastor” prophesied that god was taking his church back, and I sprouted out immediately that god was taking his church back from what? He ex-communicated me on the spot. Apparently the holy spirit supersedes rationality.

    Sipping Jack Daniels now. Wishing I had died in a car accident or something. I was so young.

  30. pstrmike says:

    ” I’m a full blown alcoholic because of CC and Vineyard.”

    I get it, at least from my experience with CC.

    I was around during the tent days and afterwards until I moved away from SoCal. I did AA some years afterwards, much of it brought on by my experiences in different churches, and being “surrounded my strangers I thought were my friends.”

    I then found myself in another CC. It wasn’t the 70’s any more.

    I wasn’t ex-commed but fired once—might as well have been. It felt that way. I thought about going back to the bar or AA after that, but somehow was able to keep going in another CC. And then on staff at another one. It blew up. And then another one on staff. And then planting one. We left CCA , I think its been over 5 years now.

    These days, I try to remember and focus on what God did in my life in spite of my environment (including my own lack of understanding, bad theology and mis-guided hope), and live in that very uncomfortable place of paradox , or things that don’t make sense, including all the nonsense I was exposed to that still—to this day—runs around in my head. Talk about the need to be slow to speak……

    So, I stay away from the hard stuff, try to practice a contemplative lifestyle, and enjoy a red at the end of the day. But then I’m only sharing my own experience, as subjective as it is. It’s all I got.

  31. Jean says:

    Life sucks for a lot of the saints. Eventually it sucks for all the saints,
    because, well, death is no fun, is it? As Michael has written on many occasions, the life of a saint includes suffering. Blessed are those who mourn. It’s God’s model, not mine.

    Life sucks for all unbelievers, whether they experience the misery of their existence at any given time or not, because they are just storing up wrath for themselves.

    But there is a existential difference between the suffering of the saints and the unbelievers: the saints, unlike the unbelievers, have God’s promise of another, eternal life, with God in a perfect, sin -free world where all suffering and every malady is healed. The suffering of the saints is temporary.

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