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I started answering the question “What did it look like back in the day at Calvary Chapel when Christians got together, for a bible study and other gatherings?” in my post on Sept 24. I started by explaining that the answer is found in who we were because that resulted in what it was like. This is part 2 of my answer.

In addition to everything that I wrote in this post here.

We abided in Christ.

We lived in Christ, we lived for Jesus, we lived “Hour-by-hour abiding in Jesus. We were obsessed with Jesus, we praised Him continually, talked about Him obsessively.

And just like with Jesus out of His personal union with the Father (John 10:30, John 5:19, Luke 22:42, John 14:9 ) came His words (John 12:49) and His works (fruit), which manifest the character of God and His mission on earth. Out of our union, our abiding in Christ, abiding in His word, came our works (fruit) and Character of Christ in us, resulting in us living on His mission (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20).

So imagine what it would be like for two or more people in a union (abiding) with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the word of God just as Jesus was in a union (abiding) with the Father coming together. Think of the results in the life of Jesus, the fruit He manifested, everything He did on His mission. Look at the life of the disciples and the fruit in their lives from abiding in Christ (Book of Acts). Now maybe you’re getting a glimpse of what it was like when we came together. What our daily lives looked like.

We proved daily that John 15:1-11 is true. “……he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, “. Our lives, what happened when we came together were the result of us abiding in Christ all day, the fruit from abiding.

Calvary Chapel May 5, 1973. Hundreds gather at Corona del Mar beach for baptism.

We were all part of the same church.

In the late 60’s through the 80’s Calvary Chapel held their baptisms at the beach, they had to because they were baptizing as many a 500 people in a single baptism. Those people were not coming to Christ because of some church event, or program. But because every one of us took Jesus to the streets, everywhere we went, we carried our Bibles with us and shared Jesus with everyone we met, each one of us was an evangelist. We did not invite people to come and attend a church, we were the church everywhere we went inviting people to come to the wedding feast, to Christ (Matthew 22:9).

This is who we were, the Christian culture we were reborn into, what Christians did, we opened our Bibles read what it said, believed it and lived it, we acted, we just did what it said. Thereby we made Isaiah 55:11 a reality in our lives. We were living on mission, talking about Jesus to everyone. It was that way for the first church, it was like that for us back then and it should be the same for us today.

We were all part of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. What was Calvary Chapel like, try to imagine thousands of followers of Christ who are passionately in love with Jesus. Coming together to worship Jesus, study the word, and have Koinonia with each other, who are expectantly waiting for the return of Jesus (Matthew 24:44, 1 Thess 5:6) and wanted to tell everyone about that Jesus. This was not a church of Sunday Christians, church attendees, a give me ten minutes of worship, a quick twenty-minute sermon and let me get out of here kind of people. This was Jesus people, Jesus freaks (as we were called), followers of Jesus coming together. People who actually loved to be with other followers of Jesus and talk about Jesus. To us it was not just a one hour Sunday morning event, in addition to the Sunday morning service, we had Sunday, Monday and Thursday night bible study services that lasted 2, to 2 1/2 hours each. Plus we went out for dinner afterward with bibles open talking about the study for another couple of hours. We were not just attendees of a church, Sunday Christians, but people in love with Jesus, and the body of Christ, the word of God and so we came together to be in the word, love on each other and love on Jesus.

I believe the essential part, the key to being part of Calvary Chapel was that it was a teaching church, an equipping church, and a sending church. We were taught the word of God (1 Timothy 4:6, 2 Timothy 2:15), equipped to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12-16) and sent out to preach the gospel and make disciples (2 Timothy 4:2, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8) and that is what we did. It was not about starting programs, it was about making missionaries of all of us.

Somebody once asked me where I went to church, I said Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, They responded: “Wow, going there is like going to seminary, you really learn the Bible”. And they were right, we not only were taught the Bible verse by verse, cover to cover, but we were also taught how to study the Bible ourselves, we were equipped. Thereby we were able to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:15 “Earnestly study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.“.

So image a group of people who along with everything I said in part one of this post, they believe in the same Jesus (Biblical Jesus), are madly in love with, abide in Jesus, who talk about Him with everyone they meet. Who are anxiously awaiting His return (Matthew 24:44, 1 Thess 5:6), and with urgency told everyone Jesus was returning. Who love the word of God so much that they study it every day, meditate on it all day, and talk about it with everyone. Are in unity in what the bible says (theology). Who love the body of Christ, and live to one another the body. Who exercise their Spirit-given gifts when they come together. A people that live on the same mission, to go make disciples. That believe in the same gospel and preach it to themselves and everyone they meet every day. We were filled with, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who is enabling, gifting and leading them. Are Charismatic (Not into Charismania).

We were a people that are of one accord, one Jesus, one gospel, one bible, one mission, a people who read the bible then do, act on what it says in the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s is who we were, a group of people who met the one who died for their sins and rose again and live as if they did.

It was Just Normal Christianity

In other words, it is normal Christianity according to everything I read in the NT as to how Christians live, the normative for a follower of Jesus Christ and how we live and do church.

So what was the result of a group of people like that to coming together? Whether it was 2, 20, 200 or 2,000, I think the only way I can convey what it was like is just to say: It was a Jesus explosion, a Jesus celebration. It looked like Acts 2, like Ephesians 5:16, and 1 Corinthians 14:26. It looked like a group of co-laborers in the mission (Matthew 28:19-20), who were stirring up one another to love and good works, spurring on one another in the good fight of the faith. It was like what normal Christianity is supposed to be like.

Honestly, you have to have lived it and experienced it to truly know and understand what it was like, what happened when we came together. If you were not part of the Jesus / Oneway Movement in the 60’s – 80’s, especially in California and particularly at Calvary Chapel (where it began), you truly cannot understand what I’m talking about.

I can also say for sure that you cannot make what happened back then happen today with a “how to book”, a “checklist of things to do”, or “church programs”. No man-made list or program can duplicate it. Nor can it happen with a church or group that’s full of Sunday Christians. People that think a church is something you just attend.

Just as Calvary Chapel did not make it happen with programs or manuals. It was God, the work of the Spirit and a people passionately in love with, abiding in Jesus and in love with each other. Chuck’s part was that he lifted Jesus up, taught the word of God and equipped the people for the work and sent them out. He let God and the Holy Spirit do the rest. God filled us with His Holy Spirit, and Chuck filled us with God’s word, and the word and the Spirit together did the rest.

I think the last part of Acts 17:6 best describes the gatherings back then “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” because they really did.

Read part one here.

 

In my Friday morning men’s group, I was asked what it looked like back in the day at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa when Christians got together, for a bible study or other gathering.

And I have been thinking about that since he asked that, and I’ve had a hundred memories running through my head while trying to think of how to answer that question.

And I think the answer is found in who we were, how we lived daily. Because without that any examples don’t make sense and are truly unduplicatable. Because that is the foundation, was the catalyst for what occurred when we met together.

Like the trinity we had a three-fold purpose and that ultimately was one purpose, Jesus, the Word, and the mission. And it dominated every aspect of our daily life, our thoughts, our actions, our purpose for living. Sub purpose along with those was Koinonia, (fellowship) and Maranatha, (the second coming of our Lord Jesus).

Because Jesus, the word of God and His mission were our lives, the most important things in our lives, the priority of our lives, what happen when we got together happened because of that. Jesus, the word of God, and the mission dominated our thoughts, our conversations, they affected everything we did every day.  So, when we came to gather it looked like the book of Act’s chapter 2, like Ephesians 5: 19-21, and 1 Cor 14:26.

When we gathered together all we talked about was Jesus and His word, because for us “to live is Christ” was how we lived. We did not have to switch to “church mode” or start acting like Christians when we came together, we were living it out daily. We talked about Jesus all day with everyone.

I must start with the elements, the foundation that created what happened when we came together?

The Mission: We all joined God in what He was doing every day, and so we had daily stories about fresh encounters with God, with what He was doing, stories of us joining Him in what He was doing. Stories of preaching the gospel, the sick being healed, the blind seeing, people being saved, people repenting, people being delivered. That is we had testimonies of Mark 16:15-20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Even stories of receiving persecution for preaching the gospel, and testimonies of prayers being answered.

First-hand stories, so that no matter who we talked with, set down next to when a conversation started we had a steady stream of God stories about what He had done. We prayed daily for God to use us, lead us where He was working, let us join Him in the mission. And when we prayed it, we meant it, we put everything else on the back burner. So then we brought those stories, testimonies with us when we come together, our part in the mission, in what God was doing on earth (Matthew 28:19-20, 10:7-8, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 9:2).

The Word: We had daily fresh encounters with His word and what it said to share, not just a list of isolated Bible verses committed to memory from some list memorized we just repeated. But a daily fresh encounter with the word and the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the word it for that day. We started our day with our Bibles open digging into the word, we finished our day in it, and every minute in-between that we could. We carried our bibles with us everywhere, we were reading it and sharing it every opportunity we had. We were set on fire for and by His word, encounters with God in His word. And if we did not share what we had received, we would have exploded I think. And we wanted to share it with everyone. We had burning bush encounters with God in His word. You cannot keep that kind of encounters with the Lord under a basket, you must shout it from a rooftop, and so we did, to each other, to everyone we encountered.

We all carried our Bibles with us if we were going to a restaurant to eat alone or with somebody, it was with us and open. When going to somebody’s house, because whenever we gathered together we always open our bibles and shared the Word. Even work because we never wanted to be far from it or miss any opportunity we had for sharing the word with others.

Jesus: And we abided in Christ and He in us, our thoughts were consumed with Jesus. We preached the gospel to ourselves all day, keeping the cross and resurrection fresh in our thoughts, to us it was if Jesus died for us and rose from the dead that day and we praised Him for it and had to tell others about it. We walked and talked with Him as if He was standing right next to us all day long because He was, we were consumed with Him. God became a man, suffered for our sins, paid our debt, died for us, and rose from the dead. And when we die He is going to raise us from the dead, give us His ring, robe and sandals. And we will eat with Him at His banquet table. What is there to talk about that was more important than that! Therefore, we talked with everyone about Him, I mean everyone. Our greatest joy was to talk about Jesus, we would rather talk about Him than anything else with each other and with others.

And we were also about Koinonia, the word means; 1contribution, 2fellowship, 3participation, 4sharing. We used the word a lot back then to describe our gatherings because It denotes the active participation or sharing of what one has in common with others. Koinonia is a very special kind of sharing—entering into what the apostles experienced with Christ. And that is what we did when we came together, “active participation or sharing in what one has in common with others” and that was Jesus, the word, and the mission. We entered “into what the apostles experienced with Christ.” That is why we wanted to be with the body of Christ in the first place.

Maranatha, the word means; “Our Lord comes” or “Our Lord is coming.” Jesus told us “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matt 24:44) So we reminded each other to be ready, we did not want to be found asleep in the light. Paul said “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thess 5:6-11 NKJV) And so when we came together we “comfort each other and edify one another” and we keep each other awake. And alerted others that Jesus was coming again.

And the Holy Spirit, I cannot leave out that we were all filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, baptized in/with the Spirit, however, you want to label it. It was not us doing these things in the power of our flesh, our strength, something we learned from a “How to” church manual. Not man made plans, schemes or programs, but by the Spirit of the Lord. We lived surrendered to, lead by the Spirit. It was not as much as us doing as it was us just Going and letting God do something through us, letting the Holy Spirit work through us. We let the Spirit equip us, work in us and through us when we were Going, and when we came together.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31-33, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6), “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”  John 14:26, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7,  and 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and on and on, we lived out, or maybe I should say the Spirit lived out through us.

Those things defined who we were and thus cased what it looked like when we came together, it looked like the book of Act’s chapter 2, like Ephesians 5: 19-21, and 1 Cor 14:26 I really think it looked like what it must have been like when the disciples came together after a day of joining God in what He was doing, a day of living on mission. A day of Going into the world and preaching the gospel, teaching what Jesus said even onto persecution.  Each one with their stories to share of going. A bunch of people who were crazy about, passionately in love with Jesus, the word. A people obsessed about people getting saved, even unto death, coming together as co-laborers for the Kingdom of God, encouraging one another in Christ, in the word, in the mission, filled with, equipped and empowered by the Spirit.

That’s the starting place, the foundation of what caused what occurred when we gathered together, part 1 of the story.

Read part 2 here.

 

 

When asked the question, I generally answer that I am neither Calvinist or Arminian, but that I am a Follower of Christ, and a Biblicist of you will. While this may sound like a cop-out, I suggest it isn’t. If we engage only the biblical written text without extending beyond what is written, then we will not conclude in favor of either system (Calvinist or Arminian).

People in “churches” love to associate, identify themselves with everything under the sun, a person, doctrine, movement, creed, a church, their pastor, anything other than Jesus Christ and the word of God.

Rather than study and know the word of God, they fill themselves with, spend their time reading the latest most popular “Christian” books, writings by mere men such as Calvin, Luther, and host of “Church” pastors and theologians, even radio talk show host that they follow and use to critique, interpreter, judge the Bible by. Instead of learning the bible and critique, judging the writing of mere men according to it. They have elevated these people and things to be greater than the word of God. They spend more time talking about Calvin, Luther, and others more than Jesus, follow the writings of, teachings of them more than the bible.

Rather than abide in Christ and He in them, rather than proclaim Christ and His words,  “Whatever I tell you in the dark, that speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, that preach on the housetops.” They proclaim the words of mere men instead of the words of Jesus.

Rather than be filled with, walk in, listen to the Holy Spirit, they would rather be filled with the knowledge of and listen to Calvin and others of the reformation.

“Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”  (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)

A modern paraphrase of that verse would be:

Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Calvin,” or “I am of Arminius,” or “I am of the Reformation,” or “I am of Arminianism.” Is Christ divided? Was Calvin crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Reformation?

And later Paul writes:

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. Because I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”                                       (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

This is where I live at, “I’m of Christ and Christ alone”, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That’s me. A follower of Christ.

God wants us on our face before Him……searching the scriptures…… not Calvin. If you have to avoid, create excuses as to why a verse or even whole book is not true, write it off as being symbolic, or figurative, or whatever in order to make what you believe true. Then there is something wrong with your theology, doctrine, your beliefs. Too many people take a black marker (symbolic) [a little humor] and mark out bible passages, rewrite and entire book so that their doctrine is true. Like the more than two dozen passages that make Calvin wrong on so many things.

For me the bible is the plumb line by which I test all things, it is the truth that all things must be in agreement with to be true. So if someone says, teaches something, or any doctrine that does not line up with the word of God, I toss it out and stand on the word of God. It’s the only truth, doctrine, creed I need to firmly hold on to, to believe and proclaim.
Test all things; hold firmly to that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

If 2 Timothy 3:16 is true: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” and Romans 15:4 “Because, whatever things were written beforehand were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” And 2 Peter 1:20-21 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. because, the prophecy in old times did not come by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

If you claim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, God who come in the flesh, creator of all that is, and died for your sins, rose from the dead. Why would you go to someone else, elevate them above Jesus, above the word of God? Think that you need another set of writings to know the truth about Jesus. I do not understand why anyone who is saved, a follower of Christ would turn to anyone other than the author and finisher of our faith. Would proclaim, brag, quote anyone other than Jesus, than the very living Word of God.

In Matthew 4:4 it says: But He replied and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Note it does not say from the mouth of Calvin, the reformers, or anyone else.

And in John 16:13 tells us: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; because, He will not speak on from Himself, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will show you things to come.” And John 14:26: “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”

Note it does not say when Calvin comes, or the reformers comes, it says the Holy Spirit will come He will guide you in all truth.

As for me, I’m going to keep studying and believing the word of God and follow Jesus only, proclaim, shout from the rooftop “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

I am loved by God and a lover of God, I am Lovesick for God, therefore my worship is passionate.

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,…” Luke 10:27

Let them praise his name with dancing, let them sing praises to him with drums and guitar! Psalm 149:3

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Zephaniah 3:14

Those three verses are inseparable to me.

worship_compare_1b

Which of the two groups of people above would you say are passionately worshiping God, passionately in love with God? If a non-believer walked in these two services which one would they say, WOW, they really love God? WOW, They are passionate about Jesus? Which one do you think they would say, I want to know about the God they are worshiping? Which one would you say God is in an intimate relationship with them? Acts like their God is extravagant in His affections for them? Looks like their God is a consuming fire of passionate love for them? Jealous for the love and devotion of His people?

As for me, the answers to those questions are at the heart of why I had no interest in every church I walked into until I was 25, why had I a distorted understanding of God and church.

When it comes to love I am passionate, expressive and emotional and in scripture, we see God is too.

The Lord your God is in your midst, one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will rest in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:0

Is the way on the Left how you respond to a God that is rejoicing over you with LOUD signing? Not me. To God in your midst? Not me.

This is my story, my personal life experience.

I have walked into many churches like on the Left in my lifetime, that’s why I never liked going to church in my youth, my teens, up to my mid-twenties. I found the “worship” boring, and dead, and I did not understand a word of the songs in the hymnal’s, like “Would He devote that sacred Head” and “For their feete runne to euil”, I would think who talks like that to anyone, especially to God? And what the heck does that even mean? I would not talk to a girl like that, that I was in love with, was passionate about. So neither would I talk to God like that being in love with Him.

Add in the legalistic, harsh loveless sermons they preached, their God scared me, their God did not beckon me into a love relationship with Him. He was not someone who wanted a love relationship with me or loved me. They way they worshiped showed He was not someone you ought to have a love relationship with. I would look around and everyone looked like that were mad, or depressed, or bored with God and well, constipated, and this was their worship of the God they say they loved, and who loves them!

One thing for sure I never linked the “joy of the Lord”, “God is love” to their worship. Their worship was not an expression of love for God, passion for God, or even God is love. I could not stand the worship time, or the sermons so I was never part of a church growing up. I really believed God was harsh, unemotional, unloving, very distant from man. He was just not someone you had a love relationship with, based on how the people were worshiping Him. They might have said the words “God is love”, “God loves you”, but their lack of a deep intimate personal love relationship with God being displayed in their worship, said otherwise, their worship did not match their words.

“At Calvary Chapel: I knew they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God.”

Then God lead me to Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, the first time I was there and I was blown away by the worship, in awe, for the first time in my life I witnessed worship of God, people in love with God. Because I had been to football games, I had seen what people are like when they are passionate about someone or something, I had crushes on girls, I know how you act when you’re crazy about someone. And Jesus even tells us we are to love God even more than our loved ones. That first time I was at Calvary, I saw people who were passionately in love with God, crazy in love with Jesus, for the first time I saw people worship God with all their being and I was in awe. They not only looked happy but were ecstatic, full of uncontainable joy, I knew these people had an intimate personal relationship with God. I knew they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God. I wanted to know their God, the one they were in love with. The songs were alive and personal from their heart to God, and in simple modern English that I could understand, words that connected to my heart. I was overwhelmed, and I want to know God as they did. to love God as they did. Know His love as they did. I wanted to know the God that they were so in love with, that stirred such passion in them. And so for the first time in my life, I became part of a church.

“I wanted to know the God those people were so in love with, so passionate about.”

Before Calvary Chapel, I knew Jesus died for my sins, that He was my savor, but until Calvary Chapel, I never knew, saw or experienced God was a God of love, and He wanted a love relationship with me, that I could have a passionate love relationship with Him.

It’s been many years since that day I walked into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and I have grown in breadth and length and height and depth, in my relationship, and love of God, of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so thus has my worship.

I am by nature a passionate person, affectionate and romantic when I am passionate about something or someone, it shows, so I worship with great passion, how can one not when worshiping the God of Creation, the God who came in the flesh to suffer and die for me. How can I not be excited, want to raise my hands to the one who was raised from the dead for me, jump with joy, dance with gladness, shout, cry, scream with arms wide open, proclaim my love to Him, be filled with joy and smile ear to ear. I must, everything in me cries out to Him, my love must be expressed with all my mind, strength, and body, and so I do. That’s me, how I roll, I cannot just sit in a pew unemotional, singing songs that are not from my heart.

Which group looks like God is inhabiting their praises like the Bible says He will? For me, it’s the ones on the Right, because that is how I express love.

 

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Psalm 16:11 says “in your presence, there is fullness of joy” which group looks like there is in the presence of God, looks like there is fullness of joy? As for me the ones on the Right to me.

Who looks like they are gazing on the face of the One who sits on the throne? To me, in my experience as one who does, the people on the Right.

Who looks like they are worshiping, in love with the God who became a man, suffered and died to have a love relationship with them? The Right as to how I worship the One who died for me.

My choices are based on my life experience, and how I am wired for love and passion, and my personal encounters with God in worship. How God made me, wired me, how I express and perceive love.

The service on the Left screams Rituals vs. Relationship, what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for. Making Judaism all about a set of rituals and laws to follow, things to do rather than have a love relationship with God. King David understood what it was all about, about passionately pursuing the heart of God, but the Pharisees did not.

“if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me screams to do and say, why even be there?”

As for me, if I cannot have the freedom to passionately worship and love God at the level my heart desires to, I don’t want to go there. I would rather just stay home, if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me scream to do and say, pour out my heart to God, why even be there? So that is why I would not go to a church like the ones in the Left photos, it’s just not me.

“like the rocks I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name”

To just sit there week after week unemotional, un-passionately, sing songs that say nothing of the love I feel for God, I would explode, like the rocks, I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name. Dance with joy before my Lord like King David (OK, not naked like he did). Not falling on my face before Him crying out Holy, Holy is the Lamb on the throne. Worship with total abandonment, be all in with all that I am, heart (Emotions & Affections), soul (Life), strength (Body, Actions) and mind (Thoughts) is unacceptable, I must worship God.

I’m just saying that is me, where I am in my relationship with God, the level of love I have and level of worship I desire to give God. I’m not attacking or condemn others who choose to worship like at that church, who choose be part of a church like that. I just want others to not try to talk me out of loving God as I do, talk me out of worshiping God with passion like I do. Or to attack and condemn me because I do, or the places I worship at like in the photos on the Right.

I will not go to a church like the ones in the photos on the Left side, like the ones that kept me from God’s love, that is not a place for me, others can go where they want and I will go where I go. And I choose to go where I am free to worship God, love God with total abandonment, passion, to my heart’s content. Come before the throne of God and gaze upon His beauty and dance with joy before Him, and sing loud from my heart to Him who sits on the throne.

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I am like the guy on the Right when I worship, at the top of the page, I am all in, totally abandoned in my love and worship of God, and I will not give Him anything less.

The words to the song “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards says it for me.

For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy, demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

I don’t want to talk about You
Like You’re not in the room
I want to look right at You
I want to sing right to You

I seek to be in a group that looks like that is true for them. Who looks like God is in the room with them, who looks like they are looking God in the face and singing to Him.

I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetness of the presence of Jesus, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and I want to stay there. Churches on the Left are why I never wanted to be part of a church, had a distant relationship with God, knew not of His love and was a periodical son tell I was 25. Churches on the Right are why I have a passionate love relationship with God, with His word, and so there I will stay.

If you like, want a church like the one on the Left, then be part of a church like that, just don’t expect me to, because I will not. And I do not care what others think, I worship for an audience of one, He who sits on the throne.

This is not open for debate, I will not love God less or less passionately than I do now and how I express it. I am unapologetic about this because I’ll never be sorry or apologetic for loving God and passionately worshiping Him.

 

Also, read this post Early For Church, Never Just in Time

LFC

I am not a get to church “just in time person”, and I detest being late, I arrive forty-five minutes to an hour early for church, I started doing that at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa all those years ago, did it at the Vineyard, and currently at the Encounter Service. Why, because I love God, passionately love God and I cannot wait to worship Him passionately with others who love Him passionately. And I am excited to gather with other believes, to gather with the body of Christ, that we can be mutually encouraged by each others faith, to get together with them and be the church together. I cannot wait to one-another them, to give and receive prayer, to give and receive a word from the Lord. To hear what the Spirit has to say to the church, for the Spirit to move among us, so I don’t want to be just in time for church.

I realize that we need each other, as the body of Christ, to help each other walk with Christ, live out the life of Christ, to become Christlike, walk through whatever challenges life presents us with. That’s not something I am going to stroll in for as though it’s not essential.

The scriptures tell us we are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, is that something you want to show up for at the last minute, be late to? Not me, I can’t wait to gather with the other living stones to built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood together.

Like Friday night Encounter Service I go to, arriving forty five minutes to an hour early also enables me to get ready for Jesus and the body to come together, the worship team always does a sound check of two or three songs, I call it pre-worship. After the pre-worship, I open my bible get in the word, then get on the floor on my face and pray. I empty myself of the things of this world, come down from the jerks in rush hour traffic that ticked me off, get my mind, heart set on Jesus. By the time the service starts, I have already encountered God in the pre-worship, the word and prayer, my face is set like flint towards God.

So you could say when it comes to meeting with Jesus, gathering with the body of Christ, gathering around the word of God, I am like a true football fan. I’m a tailgater, I show up early, I’m excited, paint my face, bare my chest and paint it, get out my foam finger, my picket fence, I’m and hoping and holing, ready to go, fired up ready for church to start, ready to encounter Jesus, encounter the Holy Spirit in action. I show up early because I’m excited to gather with Jesus, with His church, hear His word.

Jesus is going to show up if it’s really is a gathering of Christ followers, Jesus is going to speak to the church, the Holy Spirit is going to be equipping and teaching, moving in power, gifts will be given. Worship will be going on, one anothering is going to be going on. Love for one another beyond the worlds understanding will be going on. People may be healed, maybe people will be baptized into a new life in Christ.

Do you understand Jesus will be there, Jesus will be there, JESUS Will Be There, the body of Christ will be there, my co-labors in Christ, the beloved of Jesus will be there, and I do not want to miss one minute of it.

 

Also read this post about church Rituals vs Relationship – Worship from the Heart vs from a booklet

I am loved by God and a lover of God, I am Lovesick for God, therefore my worship is passionate.

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,…” Luke 10:27

Let them praise his name with dancing, let them sing praises to him with drums and guitar! Psalm 149:3

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! Zephaniah 3:14

Those three verses are inseparable to me.

worship_compare_1b

Which of the two groups of people above would you say are passionately worshiping God, passionately in love with God? If a non-believer walked in theses two services which one would they say, WOW, they really love God? WOW, They are passionately about Jesus? Which one do you think they would say, I want to know about the God they are worshiping? Which one would you say God is in a intimate relationship with them? Acts like their God is extravagant in His affections for them? Looks like their God is a consuming fire of passionate love for them? Is Jealous for the love and devotion of His people?

As for me, the answers to those questions are at the heart of why I had no interest in every church I walked into until I was 25, why had I a distorted understanding of God and church.

When it comes to love I am passionate, expressive and emotional and in scripture, we see God is too.

The Lord your God is in your midst, one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will rest in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:0

Is the way on the Left how you respond to a God that is rejoicing over you with LOUD signing? Not me. To God in your midst? Not me.

This is my story, my personal life experience.

I have walked into many churches like on the Left in my lifetime, that’s why I never liked going to church in my youth, my teens, up to my mid-twenties. I found the “worship” boring, and dead, and I did not understand a word of the songs in the hymnal’s, like “Would He devote that sacred Head” and “For their feete runne to euil”, I would think who talks like that to anyone, especially to God? And what the heck does that even mean? I would not talk to a girl like that, that I was in love with, was passionate about. So nether would I talk to God like that being in love with Him.

Add in the legalistic, harsh loveless sermons they preached, their God scared me, their God did not beckon me into a love relationship with Him. He was not someone who wanted a love relationship with me, or loved me. The way they worshiped showed me God was not someone you sought to have a love relationship with. I would look around and everyone looked like that were mad, or depressed, or bored with God and well, and this was their worship of the God they say they loved, and who loved them!

One thing for sure I never linked the “joy of the Lord”, “God is love” to their worship. Their worship was not an expression of love for God, passion for God, or even God is love. I could not stand the worship time, or the sermons so I was never part of a church growing up. I really believed God was harsh, unemotional, unloving, very distant from man. He was just not someone you had a love relationship with, based on how the people were worshiping Him. They might have said the words “God is love”, “God loves you”, but their lack of a deep intimate personal love relationship with God being displayed in their worship, said otherwise, their worship did not match their words.

“At Calvary Chapel: I knew they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God.”

Then God lead me to Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, the first time I was there and I was blown away by the worship, in awe, for the first time in my life I witnessed worship of God, people in love with God. Because I had been to football games, I had seen what people are like when they are passionate about someone or something, I had crushes on girls, I know how you act when you’re crazy about someone. And Jesus even tells us we are to love God even more than our loved ones. That first time I was at Calvary, I saw people who were passionately in love with God, crazy in love with Jesus, for the first time I saw people worship God with all their being and I was in awe. They not only looked happy but were ecstatic, full of uncontainable joy. I could see they loved God, I saw people worshiping like God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God. I wanted to know their God, the one they were in love with. The songs were alive and personal from their heart to God, and in simple modern English that I could understand, words that connected to my heart. I was overwhelmed, and I want to know God like they did. to love God like they did. Know His love like they did. I wanted to know the God that they were so in love with, that stirred such passion in them. And so for the first time in my life, I became part of a church.

“I wanted to know the God those people were so in love with, so passionate about.”

Before Calvary Chapel I knew Jesus died for my sins, that He was my savor, but until Calvary Chapel I never knew, saw or experienced God was a God of love, and He wanted a love relationship with me, that I could have a passionate love relationship with Him.

It’s been many years since that day I walked into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and I have grown in breadth and length and height and depth, in my relationship, and love of God, of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, so thus has my worship, but still I am not even at the level I want to be at.

I am by nature a passionate person, affectionate and romantic when I am passionate about something or someone, it shows, so I worship with great passion, how can one not when worshiping the God of Creation, the God who came in the flesh to suffer and die for me. How can I not be excited, want to raise my hands to the one who was raised from the dead for me, jump with joy, dance with gladness, shout, cry, scream with arms wide open, proclaim my love to Him, be filled with joy and smile ear to ear. I must, everything in me cries out to Him, my love must be expressed with all my mind, strength, and body, and so I do. That’s me, how I roll, I cannot just sit in a pew unemotional, singing songs that are not from my heart.

Which group looks like God is inhabiting their praises like the bible says He will? For me it’s the ones on the Right, because that is how I express love.

 

worship_compare_2b

Psalm 16:11 says “in your presence there is fullness of joy” which group looks like their is in the presence of God, loos like there is fullness of joy? As for me the ones on the Right to me.

Who looks like they are gazing on the face of the One who sits on the throne? To me, in my experience as one who does, the people on the Right.

Who looks like they are worshiping, in love with the God who became a man, suffered and died to have a love relationship with them? The Right as to how I worship the One who died for me.

My choices are based on my life experience, and how I am wired for love and passion, and my personal encounters with God in worship. How God made me, wired me, how I express and perceive love.

The service on the Left screams Rituals vs. Relationship, what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for. Making Judaism all about a set of rituals and laws to follow, things to do rather than have a love relationship with God. King David understood what it was all about, about passionately pursuing the heart of God, but the Pharisees did not.

“if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me screams to do and say, why even be there?”

As for me, if I cannot have the freedom to passionately worship and love God at the level my heart desires to, I don’t want to go there. I would rather just stay home, if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me scream to do and say, pour out my heart to God, why even be there? So that is why I would not go to a church like the ones in the Left photos, it’s just not me.

“like the rocks I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name”

To just sit there week after week unemotional, un-passionately, sing songs that say nothing of the love I feel for God, I would explode, like the rocks, I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name. Dance with joy before my Lord like King David (OK, not naked like he did). Not falling on my face before Him crying out Holy, Holy is the Lamb on the throne. Worship with total abandonment, be all in with all that I am, heart (Emotions & Affections), soul (Life), strength (Body, Actions) and mind (Thoughts) is unacceptable, I must worship God.

I’m just saying that is me, where I am in my relationship with God, the level of love I have and level of worship I desire to give God. I’m not attacking or condemn others who choose to worship like churches on the Left, who choose be part of a church like that. I choose to go where I am free to passionately worship God, love God with total abandonment to my heart’s content. Come before the throne of God and gaze upon His beauty and dance with joy before Him, and sing loud from my heart to Him who sits on the throne.

worship_compare_3b

I am like the guy on the Right when I worship, and at the top of the page, I am all in, totally abandoned in my love and worship of God, and I will not give Him anything less.

The words to the song “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards says it for me.

For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy, demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

I don’t want to talk about You
Like You’re not in the room
I want to look right at You
I want to sing right to You

I seek to be in a group that looks like that is true for them. Who looks like God is in the room with them, who looks like they are looking God in the face and singing to Him. Who look like they are in love with a God who is in love with them?

I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetness of the presence of Jesus, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and I want to stay there. Churches on the Left are why I never wanted to be part of a church, had a distant relationship with God, knew not of His love and was a periodical son tell I was 25, and I will never be part of one. Churches on the Right are why I have a passionate love relationship with God, with His word, and so there I will stay.

If you like, want a church like the one on the Left, then be part of a church like that, just don’t expect me to, because I will not. And I do not care what others think, I worship for an audience of one, He who sits on the throne.

This is not open for debate, I will not love God less or less passionately than I do now and how I express it. I am unapologetic about this because I’ll never be sorry or apologetic for loving God and passionately worshiping Him.

 

Also read this post Early For Church, Never Just in Time

hands-in-praise

When people gather together and do not acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit, engage with the Holy Spirit, it’s basically a social group, participating in religious rituals, not a church. We desperately need the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that worked through Peter, Paul, Timothy, and Silas. That same Holy Spirit that birthed the church in Jerusalem, Philippi, Ephesus and all the other churches in the NT. The same Holy Spirit that Paul said would equip us with the spiritual gifts to be the church, for us to function as the church. The same Holy Spirit that would give us the power and gifts to serve one another. The same Holy Spirit that Jesus told the disciples to wait for that would fill them with power. That same Holy Spirit we are told not to grieve, and you are going to ignore when you gather, is that not grieving Him? We need the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we are doing things in the flesh according to our will. Trying to be something we cannot be without the power of the Holy Spirit, the church. If we could be the church without the Holy Spirit, without the power of the Holy Spirit, then Jesus would not have told the disciples to wait for Him.

I praise God that that with the exception of one time, I have always been in a church that does acknowledge and engage the Holy Spirit. Where we begin with the attitude of expectation of the Holy Spirit being there, showing up. Start by paying for the Holy Spirit to come, to show Himself in power, to move among us. To work through us, to speak to us, teach us, equip us. And ultimately lead us, and manifest Himself among us. In fact my current place of worship, we have the attitude we will not move till He comes and move us.

 

We sing:

Holy Spirit sent from heaven
The God of all glory is here
Rise up within me
Living Water, Spirit of God in me

You are welcome in this place
You are welcome in this place
God of power love and grace
Saturate my soul

After all the scriptures make it very clear we cannot follow Jesus, live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit in us, without His power. That we cannot even begin to love one another without the Holy Spirit in us producing the love. And yet so many think they can gather together and function as the church like scripture shows us without the Holy Spirit. How foolish is that!

 

Mission-Blues-Brothers

When it comes to “Fellowship”, I don’t need that to do American church. I don’t need fellowship to attend church on Sunday, to gather in a building with a bunch of people, face forward and hear some guy deliver a well-rehearsed message maybe or not about God, and go home, I can do that on my own.

I don’t need fellowship to just be a fan of Jesus, be a Sunday Christian, to live everyday just like the rest of the world, live for the same things as them, advance my career, make more money, get a bigger house, newer car, talk about politics, sports, and the kids soccer games. I can do that on my own, that’s easy.

But to stay on mission every day, I need people because I’m going to get distracted, I need co-labors in the mission to run the race with, I need prayer, encouragement in the work of the Lord. to run the race, preach the gospel to all the nations in the midst of persecution. To partake in the suffering of Christ, to die to self and life for Christ. For that, I need the fellowship of co-labors.

Fellowship does not begin with let’s have fellowship or let’s do community, where do you see that in the book of Acts, did Paul, Peter every say let’s get together and have fellowship? No, it begins with let’s follow Jesus, let go and make disciples. Let’s Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation, let’s partake in the sufferings of Christ, let’s run the race to win. That’s where you start.

If I just read the Scriptures, I wouldn’t even think so much about the gathering, Sunday church. You know – my first thought wouldn’t be, “Let’s have a gathering.” or “let’s get together and have fellowship”. Out of the Scriptures, I would think, “I’m on a mission” and I am to partner with others on that same mission.

When I read what Jesus has done for me, read His words, especially His last words to us in Matthew 28, how can my life response be anything other than I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and now I’ve got to go out and tell others about Jesus, and make disciples That’s what I would think, I need to go out there and just reach as many people as I can! I’m supposed to teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded

That’s what I would get out of scripture, that I need to go out and start making disciples and to gather with people who are doing the same thing, partners in the gospel. This is what I am after.

And that pressure to always stay on that mission, to keep following Jesus, because the world and everyone in it would be beating me down, trying to stop me, I would actually need these brothers and sisters, co-laborers in my life. And I would tell them, don’t let me stop or even slow down, and I won’t let you slow down, we’ve got to stay on this mission together, that’s what we are here for.

So you see I Don’t Need Fellowship (to quote my co-laborer in Christ Francis Chan), or a fellowship group, a community group, to do American Church, But I do need those who are following Christ, living for the mission. to help me live on mission, to join with me in fulfilling the great commission as we call it, to take on the world preaching the gospel and making disciples. I need to gather with those who have “partnered in the gospel from the first day until now”, who are “co-workers in the gospel of Christ”. I need fellowship with those “who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together”, so that I might “run with endurance the race that is set before me”, to fight the good fight, and finish the race set before me. That kind of fellowship I do need.

A friends church home group gathering was having a BBQ for his birthday, I attend and did the Barbecuing for them. The Lord has been teaching me this week is about being a follower of Jesus, and the church and His teaching really took on flesh at this gathering.

The top topics of the night where, sports, politics, work, children and grandchildren, but never was Jesus even mentioned that I ever heard. If anyone did while I was not near them it was brief, quickly mentioned and on the something else if they did.

Is that’s what followers of Jesus look like when they get together? Seriously? Is that what it looks like when people have died to themselves and live for Christ get together? What do they talk about?

When I was part of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, whenever I meet up with another follower of Jesus, whether it was at a church gathering, someone’s house, a restaurant, or running into each other on the street. 80 to 90% of our conversation was about Jesus, the word of God and the mission. Always.

When I look at scripture, read what the life of a follower of Jesus, what the church is to look like, then look how those who claim to be Christians are like, including me, they don’t match up.

When I walk into a church home group, or any home of someone who claims to be a Christian, and Jesus is not the main topic on everyone’s minds, conversations. If the mission and their part in it is not the hot topic. Something wrong with that, very wrong.

So there I was at a gathering of people who claim to be followers of Jesus, who claim they live for Christ, and yet when together they do not talk about Jesus, the word of God, Jesus did not dominate their conversations.

And I asked myself, are these are followers of Jesus? Seriously? Followers of Jesus? The same Jesus who said, you want to go bury the dead, for get you! That Jesus? The same Jesus who said you want to say goodbye to your family, you cannot be my disciple! The same Jesus that said the birds have nest, the fox’s have no holes, and I have no place to sleep, do you still want to follow me? That Jesus?

The Jesus that said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple! Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple! That Jesus.

The same Jesus that said the purpose of our life is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That Jesus?

Are you telling me that people who claim that Jesus is their God, their Lord, their King, that they are willing to die for, be stoned to death for. Be nailed to a cross and die a slow painful death for. Yet when they gather with others who claim the same thing, that same Jesus does not consume their conversations? Does not so consume their life, who they are, that Jesus does not dominate their conversations?

Really, that’s what followers of Jesus look like?

Does that make sense to you?

It’s not that I’m not that I am judging them, it is more like a fear, like a concern, that it has become acceptable in America for Jesus not to be the center of our fellowship, dominate our conversations when we gather. Again, it’s not judging, it’s just I’m deeply concerned at what I see.

I burn to talk about Jesus, talk about the mission, hear what Jesus said that day, week to others, hear about their labor that day, week to preach the gospel and make disciples. Talk about what Jesus has done, about who He is, about His coming soon.

I’m no longer willing to settle for gathering with people who claim to be followers of Jesus and not have Jesus and the mission dominate our conversations. I don’t just want it like it was like in my old days at Calvary Chapel, I want even more than we had then, I want, what I read in scripture, I want to open the book of Acts and say, Wow, we are living this.

This is what God has been showing me in last few days.

i-am-angry

I read a blog post titled “Still an Angry Christian” and its first part “I am An Angry Christian”, by Cindy Brandt celebrating the gift of anger. And it was freeing to read, and it compelled me to write a similar post, being that I too am a Angry Christian, mad as hell might even be a more appropriate title for me.

Reading it has released me to surrender to the fact that its Okay for me to be angry, that I am right in being angry. That personal growth and spiritual maturity does not mean experiencing less episodes of anger, or even about managing anger better, but embracing it instead of fighting it. I am learning that as long as I care for those suffering and the injustice in this world, the mission of Jesus, biblical church, the word of God, my relationship with Jesus, the more anger is going to take up residence in my life, and I might as well get cozy with it.

Others have for so long told me I should not be angry, I should not express my anger, that Christians don’t do that, that Christians are to be filled with “the joy of the Lord” 27/7 regardless of what I am experiencing in life.

That as a Christian, I am to be nice: all the time, regardless of what people do to others, including myself. When things upset me, it is because I’m in the flesh and sinful, and not walking in the Spirit. A godly man never responds in anger, get angry at others or circumstances. Well Excuuuuse Me while I open the window, sick my head out and scream as loud as I can, I’m mad as hell, I am and not going to hide it any more!!!! I am a angry Christian!!!!!!

I hereby declare: I am an angry Christian.

I get angry when I hear about millions of young girls that are taken and turned into prostitutes for sex tourists, used to make internet porn.

I get angry when I hear over a billion people struggle with hunger, and 18 people die every minute from starvation, and most are children.

I get angry when people are hungry right now, have nothing to eat, especially children starving, many even in my own city and I can do nothing about it, and those who can, do nothing.

I get angry when Christians keep telling me to just attend a church, any church, (usually theirs), to just show up for an hour and go home, be satisfied with that and call that being part of a church.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being a passionate lover of God in my worship of Him and  come to their church and just sit quietly in the pew with folded hands and show no emotions. ( read more )

I get angry when Christians attack the worship music I worship God to, songs that express my love for God, remind me of Gods love for me, songs that speak from my heart.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being non-denominational, stop being charismatic, and join their denomination, join their non-charismatic church.

* I get angry when I want to follow Jesus and live on mission, Go preach the gospel, make disciples, gather with others that are devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. I want to be part of the body church and receive gifts to minister to the body, to pray for one another. And God will not let me, and yet everyone constantly hounds me, nags me to be part of the church, when I want to be, because God has blocked me from being part of the church in those ways.

But I don’t just get righteously angry.

* I get angry when other Christians tell me that I should not be depressed, sad, lonely, just because I do not have love and family, it’s wrong to want to have someone to love and be loved by, have children, when they do.

I get angry when other Christians tell me being single is “a gift from God”, that “Jesus is all I need (more)” when they are married with children (read my post on this).

I get angry when people point out that there are few people who choose to go through life never wanting to love or be loved by another person, and that I should choose be like them.

I get angry when God gives me a word, answers questions through His word and teaching from others, and people who claim to be Christians attack it, rip it to shreds, ultimately crap all over it. (read more).

I get angry when a pastor says from pulpit that singles should spend all their time serving God, yet their church only allows married people to be in ministry and leadership positions.

I get angry because I want to be part of a true biblical church and exercise my gifts for the body, have daily fellowship with others in Christ, but I cannot because there is no way being single at my age I can.

I get angry when I want to go and preach the gospel, feed the hungry, set the captives free, and God will not let me.

I get angry when people who God bless with love and family, say they are too busy, life to full of family things to serve God, and since I’m single that’s my job to do those things, not them. Have they never read “to whom much is given, much will be required” Luke 12:48. or  Luke 9:61-62.

And sometimes, I get angry for no good reason.

If you open your bible and read it, you will find it says to be slow in becoming angry, nowhere does it say never be angry at all. Jesus got angry, and often, even threw a fit of rage in the temple of all places ( that would be like in the middle of a church, full of people). All through out the bible God got angry at both His enemy’s and His people. Anger is part of God’s personality, and we are made in His image.

The problem is not my anger, that I am angry, the problem is the source of my angry, starving children in world of plenty, young girls being kidnaped and forced to be raped hundreds of times a day. People who say they are Christians, attack me for loving God to much, for being too passionate for God, for believing the bible and wanting to do what it says. Condemn me for wanting the church that is in the bible, for wanting my life and the church to be all about the mission of Christ, those are the problems, not my anger.

Anger channels passion, and is often a conduit of love. When God brewed in anger over God’s people in Scripture, it is often a reflection of God’s faithfulness with a people prone to wander. Love and anger are sometimes opposite sides of the same coin. They drive us to pursue justice in the face of suffering. Anger fuels commitment to lasting change.

Just as I want my anger to demand justice for others, that captives be set free, the oppressed be liberated, I need my own anger to demand just treatment for myself. Without anger, Stand up for the word of God and the mission of Jesus. I eventually learn to cope with words that minimize me, actions that diminish my gifts, my walk with God, and systems that marginalize me. My sweet, compliant spirit slowly whittles me down to a mere shadow of myself, one who goes with the flow, maintains harmony, and obeys without question. In doing so, I rob myself of the respect I deserve as a beloved child of God, and I rob my community the gift of my authentic self.

So I am an Angry Christian. Angry, because it is part and parcel of my humanity, part of being a Christian, part of being created in Gods image.

Also read:

Please Stop saying “All you need is Jesus” to singles

Stop Casting Your Pearls Before Swine