Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, May 28, 2015

#66 The "Bless Me" Trap

C. Peter Wagner: In August 1990, 25,000 charismatics gathered in the Indianapolis Hoosier Dome for the third largest congress of its kind.

Some observers felt the meeting represented a turning point of sorts for the charismatic movement. A Christianity Today editorial commented approvingly that this time the charismatics did not gather just for hand raising, fervent praying and exuberant singing as they had in the past.

This time they were challenged to move out in aggressive evangelism at home and abroad, especially targeting the poor.

In fact, Christianity Today was bold enough to suggest that Indianapolis was an indication that the charismatic movement is "coming of age."

What is it that would cause some evangelicals and others to regard the 30-year-old charismatic movement as less than mature? Vinson Synan, the congress director and chairperson of the sponsoring North American Renewal Service Committee, probably put his finger on it when he said, "This was not a bless me conference."

Synan was comparing the attendance of the 1977 Kansas City conference (50,000) and the 1987 New Orleans conference (35,000) to the 25,000 in Indianapolis.

Both Kansas City and New Orleans were regarded by the leadership as "bless me" events. But the theme of Indianapolis was "Evangelize the WorldNow!

Synan's view is that when the emphasis shifted from bless me to bless them, the interest among charismatics dropped considerably, and so did the attendance.

Charismatics certainly do not hold a corner on the bless me brand of Christianity despite the disproportionately high profile of some rather questionable application of healing and prosperity teaching.

Countless thousands of non-charismatic churches also suffer severe cases of "koinonitis," which is legitimate Christian fellowship gone to seed. "Visitors welcome" signs over the front door of the church mean virtually nothing in all too many cases. The bless me trap knows no denominational boundaries.

Churches, of course, should bless me. Few people would attend if there were no personal benefits. Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)

We invite our hurting friends to come to church with us so they can experience emotional, physical and spiritual healing. In a real and legitimate sense the church is seen as a hospital to care for the wounded.

But while the Church rightly functions as a hospital for healing the wounded, it must also be seen as a barracks for the warriors. It is a place for teaching, training, equipping and spiritual conditioning.

It is a place where people are filled with the Holy Spirit and power not simply to bless me but also to be witnesses for Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

The Church does what healing is necessary but the primary function of the healing is to build up the troops for moving out to the front lines in Kingdom ministries of all kinds.

#66 The "Bless Me" Trap
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 114 , 115) Regal Books

We do invite our hurting friends to come to church with 
us so they can experience emotional, physical and 
spiritual healing. In a real and legitimate sense the 
church is seen as a hospital to care for the wounded.

Our church is also to be a place where people are filled 
with the Holy Spirit and power not simply to be
blessed, but then to be witnesses for Jesus.

May this become our goal; to be used by Him to pray
for others to find Him as Savior and Lord, and
to dedicate their lives to His service.
I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 128:1 "Blessed is everyone that feareth the LORD: that walketh in his ways."

Today’s quote: Brennan Manning -“In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”

Some thoughts today: Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ. He's the answer for the world. The truth that liberates the soul. (See John 1:14-17) Grace is the substance to change us into His likeness.

- Jesus is the way to God. What He did is sufficient to reconciling us to the Father, giving us a life-changing experience. (See Romans 5:8-11)

- God begins a saving work in us when we open our hearts and lives to Jesus. (See Romans 6:23)

30th- Saturday’s post:  Mysterious Ways: A Friend on the Freeway   Keith VanderArk

31st- Sunday evening's post:  May..
Lisa Buffaloe

June 2nd- Tuesday's post:  #67 Relationships and Rules
C. Peter Wagner

4th- Thursday's post:  #68 Who Is Holy? 
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:  Praise Refreshes the Soul  Sharon Jaynes shares with us, "One day I was mopping the kitchen floor and my words were anything but cheerful. 

I grumbled to myself…no one even appreciates all that I do around here..."   (save to check in sometime)

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