Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries
Just received this excellent e-mail from Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries. It concerns how the Holy Spirit gives offense--I bold-faced certain parts of her e-mail that I find especically relevant. THIS IS A MUST READ!
When I was in Denmark, I heard about this Nigerian healing evangelist. It was ten o'clock at night, and we were guests at the dinner table and some people were telling me about this Nigerian who was moving in signs and wonders.
Only 1% of Denmark residents are born again Christians, but they told me that he was pulling crowds of two thousand people. They said he is a phenomenon. Everybody rushes to see him and there are radical healings and salvations.
"Well Jill," they said, "Did you realize that he is here in town tonight?" I said, "You're kidding!" They told me he prays until three or four in the morning, and I told them I wanted to go! Linda Valen, who was with me on the road, came along too!
This couple drove us downtown and we eagerly entered the church. There must have been fifteen hundred people in the meeting that late at night! Signs, wonders and healings were happening, and the room was alive with excitement and curiosity!
I couldn't believe all the New Age people who were there. I couldn't believe the witches and the warlocks, the prostitutes, businessmen and women that were obviously not saved, but they were there!
As I looked at this group of unsaved pagan folks, my heart cheered! I said, "Oh, how did they get these people here? This is a church. Why would people come to church? Why would the lost come to church? What do we have for them? If we don't have the power of God, why do they come?"
As I talked to the pastor, he told me to look at it this way. The people who have been hurt in the charismatic and Pentecostal churches often end up going to seeker-friendly churches. They have their music for a certain amount of time, then a forty-five minute sermon, and they go home. There's no mess. It's nice, neat, sterile and barren.
You see, there's no fire on the altar. There are no sounds of birthing and travail. And, oh my goodness, we wouldn't want a demoniac, someone who needed radical deliverance, to manifest because, after all, we might offend people.
So we ration out and decide that we are going to pastor Holy Spirit. He is only God, you know! What happens is that we wind up with names on churches that Holy Spirit doesn't even go to! It is a form of religion, but it doesn't have the radical presence of God.
Most of these guys are Spirit-filled and were very hot and radical in other decades, but they have learned, through a lot of pain, to build a church with programs and models. They have applied different methods because after all, they don't want people to continue to go out the back door.
When I talked to this pastor, I asked him how he got all of these unsaved people there. He said, "Jill, the unchurched, the heathen, are just hurting people. They are broken, demonized and they need to get saved. Their bodies are hurting so we just advertise in all the New Age papers. We just said if you need to get physically healed, just come."
We have the lost coming because they haven't been taught by the church to hate Holy Spirit yet. They haven't been taught to be offended because someone happens to tremble, or someone happens to go through deliverance, or someone happens to shake and get radically and physically healed.
They haven't been churched that way so they just come and ask if the God of the Bible is real? Is Jesus really who He says He is in the Bible? If so, I want Him! He told me they had over eight hundred people sign up for the Alpha Class just that night!They were unsaved people who didn't know God at all!!
That very night they were saved and signed up for discipleship classes. You see we, as the church, have decided that the unsaved will be offended but the reality is --- we are so religious that we are the ones who have gotten offended!