Sunday, September 14, 2008

Which Gospel Are We Preaching (and Believing)?

I got back into transcribing with a vengance last night! The motivator was two-fold. While I was at the gym I was watching quite a prolonged interview with Sir Alex Ferguson - the manager of Manchester United Football Club. I remember being in a pub watching Ferguson's triumph in 1999 when Manchester United won the treble and yet has his vision and focused waned? Never. He is over 60 and still as focused as ever for triumph and glory. Secondly at the beginning of my night shift I watched a documentary about the famous "Belle de Jour" and the subsequent TV programme "Diary of a Call Girl". I didn't realise that the whole phenomenon of that series evolved from an anonymous woman blogging about her experiences with men. I was stunned by the popularity of the following of her blog.

And I reflected - do we not carry a far more glorious vision that Alex Ferguson ever could? This is not just about kicking a ball full of air around a pitch! Do we not have FAR more to talk about than a call girl in London? This is not just about reflecting on the emptiness of meaningless sex! We have experienced the revelation of the glory of the New Covenant! We are recipients of the grace and the glory of God! We have felt His touch upon our lives! We have heard the Holy Spirit within us testifying with our spirits (when we take the time to listen) that we ARE children of God! So I felt suitably chastisted that I have let problems at work and problems with my health silence me. Begone doubt! Begone fear!

Where am I in terms of blogging Rob Rufus? I've finished writing up his remarkable sermon: "The Administration Of Healing Authority" and have almost finished typing it up and have got into writing out; "The Blood - Substance or Shadow?". Rob said something before he had even got into the bulk of his message on the blood of Christ that gripped my attention. Here it is;

"Then He (Jesus Christ) said; "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils".

By the way - the statement about lepers caught my attention. If we are to take this statement as a command from Jesus Christ then where are the lepers requiring cleansing? Not many around these days. So I wondered whether the lepers of our day could be those people afflicted with AIDS and HIV. I've watched another friend of mine going through the agonising procedure of having to book into a clinic on Thursday to see whether he is positive or negative. It breaks my heart. I've said before that I am getting to know more and more people with AIDS. Would any of them dream of walking into churches to ask for healing? Never in a million years. That's wrong surely! That demonstrates that the church is disobeying this command of Jesus! I stand to be corrected - would someone with AIDS be welcome in your church? Tell me about it! (Actually having said that - I know of at least two churches I would go to if I ever suffered with AIDS - here and here).

I digress - back to Rob;

"Yet sadly and tragically for the last 100's of years much of the church has not been preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. It has been preaching the gospel of salvation. There is a big difference. The gospel of the Kingdom includes the gospel of salvation but it is much more. The gospel of salvation is primarily focused on going to heaven. The gospel of the Kingdom is primarily focused on bringing heaven into the earth realm.

So we must not confuse our assignment with our destiny. Our destiny is to go to heaven. Our assignment is to bring heaven to earth".

When I get swallowed up in despair and frustration at the experiences at work then surely I am forgetting my assignment? I went to see a staff support counsellor yesterday because it was recommended by human resources. The counsellor was busy telling me that my feelings of anger and frustration are all valid feelings and should be channelled. I just came out with the same sense of unease I've always had when I have gone to see counsellors before about self-harm and various other things. These feelings are not matching up (in my book) with bringing heaven to earth! The difference this time is that I am NOT going to get condemned about why I am not matching up to my assignment at the moment! The difference this time is that I want to learn and grow and become more like Christ changing from glory to glory until people in the said work place cannot help but speak about how their evil gossip and malicious slanders and lies don't see to have an effect anymore because like Jonathan Edwards - I long to have this description made of me;

"I never saw the least symptoms of displeasure in his countenance the whole week but heappeared like a man of God, whose happiness was out of the reach of hisenemies and whose treasure was not only a future but a present good… even to the astonishment of many who could not be at rest without his dismission."


Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty disgusting and indeed reflects the depths of your blog and your writing that you would even put a link to a mere prostitute on this piece.

Dan Bowen said...

Whereas I on the other hand love Isi de Gersigny's attitude - in her church she doesn't want elders and wanna-be church leaders sucking up to her and sitting on the front row with her like some sort of hierarchy.

She WANTS the untouchables in the church's eyes near her - the prostitutes and the gays of Sydney.

I know where I'd turn if I was in need Na**** ... I mean Anonymous. And it would be to the kind of grace attitude demonstrated by Isi de Gersigny and her grace message. As Rob Rufus says; "If your bleeding don't swim with the sharks".