Embracing controversy.

We're part of stirring it up again. At a time when it would be sort of nice to just keep our head down and not cause trouble, here we are, out on a limb with a snake in one hand and a hacksaw in the other.

I'm speaking of course, of the audacity that we're showing in joining with a fast. Yes, that's right. We are causing trouble by fasting. To be sure, that's part of why one fasts - to quote the movie version of William Wallace, we're goin' to pick a fight. Of course, one sort of expects to be picking that fight with the devil himself, not the rest of the church.

You see, our dear friend Lou Engle has issued a call to a 40 day fast. The fast hasn't started yet, and already it's generating heat. For instance, someone posted an article of his a few days ago on an obscure blog and already there are nitpicky comments. Another friend told me he sent the article to a pastor friend and receive an in depth, five point rebuttal.

I'm not hunting this down, but I'm sure it's repeated a hundred times over. Of course, Lou is no stranger to controversy - he seems to leave a wake of it behind him - which is extremely odd to those of us who know him, because he's probably the most gentle person I've ever met. Perhaps it's not Lou they have a controversy with, but the call itself.

It's funny. Kelsey and I have taken (a little) heat for almost everything we've done. Certainly everything we've done of consequence.
  • When we spent time in Brownsville, some frowned at us for chasing wildfire. I've only recently spent a few minutes reflecting on what a dorky statement that was! To my evangelical, agnostic or pagan readers (and I know you're out there), wildfire is a term used by pentecostal pastors to dismiss what they cannot control.
  • When we aligned our hearts and practices with the Cinci Vineyard, our more conservative friends grew horribly concerned for our salvation. I'm only half kidding - I once took a missionary friend to the Vineyard who left furious at me for calling it church.
  • When we left the Cinci Vineyard for IHOP, a dear friend took me out for dinner to respectfully ask if I was out of my mind, and then begged me to be careful (of what, I'm not sure).
  • When we moved to DC to support the LIFE issue, we lost financial support.
  • When we prayed for Terri Schiavo, I received a particularly snarky email from someone who wanted us to "let that woman die in peace". Ironically, that's what we were praying for when her husband killed her. (check the fine print on that headstone)
So, here we are.

Another day, another controversy. Fully aligned with IHOP, we're going to be leading The Call regional events. Las Vegas. Des Moines. Perhaps a city near you.

If we're not stirring it up, take our pulse...because as long as we have a pulse, I want to be in the middle of this sort of trouble.


Ronni said...

Keep stirring. My favorite quote, and something I have to remind myself anymore (because I've become controversial lately myself)....

To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. A. W. Tozer

ChriS & Yvette Ferguson said...

Ronni...I love that Tozer Quote.

Randy...The greatest mystery to me is how one moment Peter has this divine revelation of Messiah and the next he is opposing the very plan of God and Jesus identifies his words as those of Satan. Why is it a mystery? Because I fear that I may someday oppose that which is the very plan and purpose of God. I think the other disciples thought the same thing but they didn't get rebuked cause they kept their mouths shut...so if I can only learn to keep it shut more often! The problem with Lou and friends stirring things...is I now have to discover what He wants this fast to look like in my life.

Ronni's right: Keep Stirring!

steven hamilton said...

amen. wrestle...stir...call... fast and rejoice when God breaks through. it will be worth it all...and we will raise a toast to it at the banquet of Jesus.

i've been fasting and praying a lot for discernment lately, a lost gift in our turbulent times.

so i pray...
i pray the Lord bless you…
with fertile earth beneath your feet

Bless you…
with His Presence in each footstep

Bless you…
with His Spirit in every soft step

Bless you…
as Christ walks with you

do not quench the Spirit, be discerning and seek the His Holy Wildfire, hold to the good...


Tracie Loux said...

"chasing wildfire"... isn't that kind of what the Israelites did in the wilderness "the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day". It worked out pretty well for them, didn't it?
Our pastor said to us once during the "Toronto Blessing" in the late 90's early 00's while we were all "chasing fire" together, that if the Lord chose to rest on a neighboring church instead of ours, he'd switch churches! He said, "I just want to be where the Lord shows up!"

Anita Hensley said...

James 4:4
"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God"
keep pursuing friendship with God, rock on!

Brian Francis Hume said...

I appreciate you sharing in a nutshell your past experiences in stepping out to pursue hard after the Lord and the corresponding resistance that you encountered.

I’m definitely on board with The Call Nashville, and I am seeking the Lord for His specific plans for the state of Virginia. I’m sensing the Lord is calling my wife and I to step out to pursue Him in a radical way to birth a new work here in Virginia. Do you have any plans to come this way?

Also, when you were in DC, did you ever attend the Awaken the Dawn conference at Grace Church of Fredericksburg? Lou sends his team every year to pray during the conference.

Keep up the good work!