No matter what your “brand” of private labeling lashes may be, this message is for YOU.
Last Saturday, I was the Emcee at the North Central Texas House Church Conference in Dallas, Texas. A very interesting thing happened that, frankly, whether one is involved in a House Church or a traditional congregation, sooner or later, might need to be addressed.
Apparently, a few attendees were bothered by what one man private labeling lashes to as the “charismatic flavor” of the conference when, after his message, the keynote speaker spoke in tongues and invited people to come forward who might need prayer. The comment I received by email was: “I was especially upset at the charismatic flavor at the very end of the conference. I simply do not see the kind of prophecy and speaking in tongues that was manifested by several people at the end [in the New Testament House Churches]. I felt like I was on the set of TBN [he was referring to the Trinity Broadcasting Network]. I would not say God didn’t use it… I’m just saying I don’t see this kind of fdhair in the N.T.”
Another attendee wrote and said: “If this is to be a “charismatic movement” conference, it should be advertised as such…”
A third wrote saying, “I don’t see evidence of the TBN/Pentecostal style ‘gifts’ in the New Testament.”
For starters, the Pentecostal “movement” is the fastest growing brand of Christianity going these days, crossing all denominational lines and coming to a church near you. So-called “charismatic services” have even made their way even into Catholic private labeling lashes .
A Nazarene preacher told me that he was struggling with teaching on the spiritual gifts because, even though his denomination taught AGAINST speaking in tongues, he wasn’t so convinced.
When I was the Assistant Pastor at a Baptist college church, more and more of the students began moving in the gifts of the Spirit as He manifested Himself through them. One young man informed me that his mom said he wasn’t a very good Baptist anymore. Another fellow asked what was happening to all his friends as they were speaking in tongues, receiving visions and dreams and words of knowledge and prophesying, etc. He was especially impressed with the attitude of boldness that some of his classmates were expressing. His comment to me was, “I don’t understand it. I’ve been in church all my life and I haven’t changed!”
I attended a Baptist service in Fort Worth where the Pastor private labeling lashes in tongues and a Korean and an Italian woman EACH heard him say something different in their own language that edified the congregation. This was THAT spoken of by the prophet Joel (Acts 2;16-18):
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
A Church of Christ woman confided in me many private labeling lashes ago that she had spoken in tongues at a friend’s Bible study.
In recent years, several people from Catholic and Baptist backgrounds have tearfully explained to me that, although they truly felt they had been blessed with a particular spiritual gift, their greatest frustration was in not knowing how to develop it and where to use it.
“BEING” THE CHURCH TRUMPS “GOING” EVERY TIME
Yesterday, a man who said he was 7th Day Adventist challenged me after attending my Bible study. He wrongly assumed that I was a Sunday church-goer. I told him we should all be Adventists…1st day, 2nd day, 3rd, day, etc. I encouraged him that worship of God was not about gathering on a certain day in a certain building at the appointed time, singing a few songs, dropping some money in the plate and listening to a guy talk for an hour. Instead, it’s a 24/7 thing – a lifestyle that can only be “fleshed out” when the King dwelling within His people is allowed to live THROUGH them.
In my own house church meetings, we don’t quench the gifts of the Spirit from flowing. We simply listen and obey. How else will individuals explore and develop their spiritual gifts? Where if not there? Not long ago, a woman who attends the Church of Christ contacted me saying that ‘something’ was missing from her Christianity. Several from our HC met that very afternoon to pray over her. Though she didn’t receive the gift of tongues (yet), she DID testify to receiving the promised POWER when He came upon her, writing me the next day and saying, “…as I drove home yesterday afternoon I felt as though I had downed three double private labeling lashes and a healthy dose of B-12…”