Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vintage Terry Virgo!!

There is nothing more thrilling and exciting to me to have true living heroes of the faith. Of course I've got numerous heroes who are now in glory - Ern Baxter, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, C H Spurgeon, John G Lake, John Owen ... the list is endless. But living heroes are so important to me also and Terry Virgo is firmly near the top of that list.

I've had heroes in the past who have been men of Word and Spirit and have fallen into law or cessationism and the respectability of men. So to see elders in the faith who still firmly believe in a living God who encounters His people and is passionate about them - as well as not straying into excess or weirdness - is glorious and a true blessing from Him.

Terry's latest blog was just ... awesome. He is a man who has lived through decades of church life and yet still is prepared for change - for upset - for a coming God. He writes;

"Jesus came as the ultimate table-turner! He upset everything! What if He should come to His church today? What tables need to be overturned in modern evangelicalism?".

As you may expect - I've got plenty of tables in mind that need to be overturned in modern evangelicalism! But this is Terry's blog and he goes on;

"Reformation was not a matter of keeping up with the changing times but conforming to God-inspired prophets and their writings. What about today? Tables must be overturned if we are to return to authentic Biblical Christianity. Human traditions - unknown in Scripture - have become foundational in many churches".

Oh there is so much I could say! Human tradition - WHY do humans so quickly respond to a genuine move of God through His Spirit and settle down into traditions? Why do humans see a gifted and anointed man who has been singularly used and seek to reproduce the anointing on that individual by copying what they think are the secrets of their success? And yet know nothing of the secrets of the God who gave that anointing in the first place?

Terry makes a point that is quite personal to me;

"What point is there calling for private, personal obedience from individual believers if churches blatently ignore the Biblical instruction regarding church life?".

I have heard church leaders order me to do something yet I have seen them stand up in church on Sundays and without shame quench the Holy Spirit - or worse teach something that is contrary to the Word of God. I'm not trying to use Terry's comment as an excuse for disobeying church leadership - I long and love submitting to genuine, spirit-filled authority when it is clothed and soaked in grace. But what point is there?

I love his conclusion;

"Ultimately God's purpose is not merely to overturn church life but to turn the world itself upside down ... We follow a table-turning Saviour - let's not be status quo disciples".

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