Thursday, May 28, 2009

Truth and Transparency!!

Charismatics are sometimes rather infamous for excitedly exaggerating the truth about miracles, signs and wonders. We are also rather infamous for prophesying and then forgetting to say when they don't come true. I don't think it's out of a malicious desire to lie. I think it is more because we are so desperate for God's manifest Presence to break through that we sometimes see things when they do not exist or maybe are not quite as obvious as we first thought. Maybe it does destroy the credibility of charismatics especially in the eyes of those "open but cautious" and it certainly gives fuel to the hyper-anti charismatics such as John MacArthur, Peter Masters and co.

I wanted to write a post to correct something I said. And it's rather painful. But I hope that by correcting it, I can show that we don't all pretend to forget. But I hope also it makes a statement that my belief and faith in the goodness of God hasn't changed. I STILL believe!

I wrote a post last month called "My Miracle!" - I got a surprise amount of money that I rejoiced over and I really thought it was a tax rebate. Or a gift from heaven! Unfortunately I recieved a letter this week stating that it was in fact an overpayment in error from the Children's Hospital and I will indeed have to re-pay it. On top of the overpayment from my previous job in Bristol. It seems quite a few finance departments are making costly mistakes at the moment! I know I gave a lot of that money away because I wanted to bless others with what I thought was God's gifts and I don't regret that a bit. I just see it as a loan that I'll have to repay but boy am I glad people got blessed from a finance department error!

It's been a pretty awful week for me to be honest. The saga at Acorns is dragging on and looks set to drag on for the next 6 to 12 months. I had an extremely unpleasant confrontation with a client in my current job that lead to me not being able to go back to work there. I went to see my G.P yesterday in a bit of a mess and he did my blood pressure - 160/110 - oops! Rob Rufus's sermon on "Stress-Free Living" couldn't have come at a better time!

But I was watching the video I posted on the blog post; "My Miracle!". It still stands. He is still the King! He is still worthy of all my worship and adoration! He is still for me 100% and He doesn't judge me! Despite all the accusations and gossip circulating about me at the moment, there is just ONE opinion that matters. His. And His opinion is this;

"You are righteous - today, now and forever - because I am more than satisfied with the sacrifice of My Son. You are accepted and beloved on high".

So here's the video again! It's hard to worship when my heart's breaking - but the message of grace makes it so possible and I STILL believe in the blessing of Abraham! You lose devil! I am not going to get bitter! My God is awesome, abundant, lavish, loving and just awesome and worthy of eternity's praises!


jul said...

Hugs!!! wish I could do something to help! You'll definately be in my prayers...

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks Julie - prayers are much needed at mo!!

Steve said...


You might want to look at the following entry on SGM Refuge:

Maybe now is the time to tell your story to C.J. Mahaney about your experience with Sovereign Grace Ministries via Jim.

Hope this helps.

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Steve,

Many thanks for the heads-up - I read the post and the comments and it all looks very interesting and encouraging. At least someone is taking the amount of hurting people seriously.

I may send my account - but when I was kicked out of Grace Church, Bristol - I did write to the "apostolic" team at the time - Mahaney, Harvey, Shank and Detweiler - and I got a note (literally) back from Dave Harvey distancing them from the UK church situation.

His words were; "I am passing your letter to Peter Greasley who is the true father of Grace Church, Bristol".

So although I can't guarantee Mahaney has personally read my account, at least his secretary or someone has! But there again - maybe send it again. Nothing like strength in numbers.

Thanks again Steve!

Nick Cameron said...

Dan - I just want to say I appreciate your honesty and recently have been through some tough times but found some songs really helpful they are on 'my other blog'
would really encourage you to listen to the 'Help is on the way' song and the 'Praise You in this storm' - they have really helped me through some tough days.

Heard a quote that has stuck with me:- "God is as worthy of my worship on my worst day as He is on my best day."

God bless you lots, encourage your heart - He is the lifter of your head, He is awesome enough to fling stars into space, but gentle enough to wipe away every tear.

Praying for you!
Nick x

Steve said...


I am glad that you are aware of this development. I wonder how Harvey could think he could distance himself from the UK situation? Isn't he the leader of all SGM. Aren't the UK Churches using the Sovereign Grace Ministries name and aren't they under the group's authority just like USA Churches are?

Sad if they were taking this kind of a hands off approach. Hasn't Mahaney and other leaders from SGM come over and spoken at the UK SGM Churches?

I would really encourage you to send your story and copies of the correspondence to Jim. It was really grieving reading your story.

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Steve!

I don't really understand the UK SGM situation - as I hear, there has been a degree of distancing. When I was in the Bristol church, there was a great emphasis on SGM, the pastor especially would re-preach Mahaney sermons, re-tell Mahaney jokes and so on and so on. I hear now that Mahaney is almost unmentioned. The Welsh church apparantly is taking a more Mark Driscoll-esque line thanks to the pastor's daughter leaving Christianity.

So I think the only connection is the UK pastors going to every conference they can in the USA such as Together for the Gospel blah blah.

Has Mahaney and the other leaders ever come to speak at SGM UK?! Nope. Apparantly there was some vague promise Mahaney would come when they set up their own building fund but they are still meeting in school halls. The highest ranking big dog that came over was Jeff Purswell ... who has replaced Brent Detweiler on the "apostolic team" I understand now. But back then he was just the academic!

Thanks for your encouragement, I think I will write Jim. I've most certainly moved on but the damage is still done with local church. I just can't trust local church leaders at all and live in constant dread.

jul said...

Well, there seemed to be a strong connection between Harvey's church (which I was a member of) and Grealsly's...Dave moved his family there for 3 months early on, and Pete would preach at Covenant just about every time he was over. Supposedly there was/is a close relationship there unless they were lying to us in every introduction. I wouldn't expect Mr. Harvey to do anything in those situations because he handled things just as poorly on his side of the Atlantic, it's normal in SGM unfortunately but maybe this letter thing can bring it to their attention that it is neither normal or right. We can be hopeful at least right?

Dan Bowen said...

Yes that's right I remember the 3 month move over now you mention it Julie. I never quite knew why - whether that was to orientate Greasely's church to SGM or what.

Oooh I remember the SGM introductions .... *stifles nausea* ;-) ... my fave was when Jeff Purswell came to Wales. The intro went on for about an hour it felt like, and then the response was also about half an hour!!

We can be hopeful yes, but its too easy to be cynical ... can but try!