a room full of pastors and nobody was talking....
I know that sounds like a punch line of a bad joke, but last night it was a reality. Kelsey and I sat in on Mike Bickle's session of our Pastors' Conference. We have 300-350 pastors here from all over the US (and actually, a few from overseas) for the week. As I said earlier, this is probably our most interesting conference audience because they hold sway over the largest amount of people, and in most cases, are more vested in the existing church structures than the other groups who come. I expected them to hold IHOP at an arms length for a while, but I underestimated them.
Mike's talk last night was challenging. Mike quoted Oz Guinness' Prophetic Untimeliness in saying that the church is uniquely called to be for the world while against it at the same time. His main assertion was that the western church, after starting out to make God relevant to the world, has made relevance to the world it's god. He stressed the value of seeker-sensative communication styles, but pointed out how often those styles become not only the method but the message....'church is hip. you can be hip too. Really!' Where did we get the asinine idea that hipness was relevant? Anyone remember what was hip to wear in jr high? How relevant is that right now?
I know a lot of non-religous people - believers and non-believers - read this. I've tried to not let that affect what I write, but if it has, I apologize. Let me be clear...if there's a human heart beating in your frame, I'm for you. I believe you to carry the stamp of divinity on your soul. I celebrate you. Just as importantly, regarding the spirit of the age we live in - the one that says to take what you can get out of life, that whatever you believe is okay, that truth can differs from one soul to another - I say I'm against you. I know where you came from. I know who your chief sponsor is. I set my heart on a course perpendicular to yours. I am for the world. And I'm against it...because the world was meant for the pleasure of God, and it's present state of hi-jacked dominion is not the kingdom I choose.
If I read the whole book, I'd probably be unfit to live with.