Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Unbelievers REALLY Want from Church

I have been staggered by a range of quotes that I have come across in transcribing Rob Rufus's sermons here. Again and again this theme seems to be coming across that it is not gimmickry that will build God's Church but the Presence and power and the Glory-Cloud of God. Rob was in good company. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was asked at the end of his life what the ONLY hope for the Christian church was and he gave it in one word; "REVIVAL!". But defenders of the more modern "cultural" approach may argue that non-Christians will get freaked out if all we do is pursue the Glory-Cloud. Not so according to some research Rob Rufus quoted in a recent sermon;

“You know the George Barnea Research went to thousands of non-Christians in America and said, “What would make you go to church?”. They said, “If we could experience God!”. Then they said to pastors that this is the number one thing people are asking for. The pastors got all indignant and said, “We talk about God every Sunday!”. But we are not talking about academic information about God but God Himself coming!".

It's worth considering isn't it when unbelievers themselves are wanting the Presence of God made manifest?


jul said...

To be honest Dan, when I go days and days (and under legalism, months and years) without experiencing the manifest presence of God I begin to doubt he even exists. All the facts about God and the Bible are useless to me when he's not really actually WITH me, I mean in a manifest way. But when he's with me, knowledge is transformed into revelation and then I come alive to truth.

This is one area of my life I hope continuously grows, I want to want his presence more and more and more instead of 'settling'.

SLW said...

You've hit the bullseye. It's all about visitation, presence, and the demonstration of Spirit and power. There's no way to program that, nor control it, so what are the odds that all of us clergy types will ever adopt it (or for that matter that all the folk in pews, who like predictibility and safety, will stand for it)?

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks so much SLW - what awesome humility for you to write something like that! What TRUE humility! I really appreciate it and for the record ... I LOVE you clergy types! :) So please don't think I am for a universalist church where democracy rules! *Shudders*.

But can an unpopular truth prevent us from speaking about it? I truly believe that is where unbelievers are ... especially New Agers, pagans etc.

I have a friend at work who is a medium. I leant her a copy of the "Grace and Glory Prophetic Worship 2007" CD - that I received and said about on the Rob Rufus blog. I was curious to see whether she would discern anything different about it.

After listening to it, she asked to keep it so she could pass it around to her friends and said that she had NEVER heard anything so powerful in her life, and had NEVER sensed such power "aura" coming from her speakers. And she said she had experienced a lot of power in her life.

Her words were; "That can't ... it CAN'T be true Christianity"!?!? I assured her that most definately WAS true Christianity. It's the rest of the stuff she's heard that is the shadows.

jul said...

That's so amazing to hear about your medium friend Dan! You should put that up on CCI testimony page or at least send Rob an e-mail to encourage him.

Dan Bowen said...

I was thinking about doing that actually!! :)