Called To Give An Account
So the past few days have been interesting. I’ve been really excited about the level of momentum building for our house church as it develops but yesterday ended up being a real “gut-check” for me. I’ve had to face tough questions that are making me ask questions I thought I had answered already. Do I really believe in organic Christianity? Is seeing apostolic Christianity restored in my lifetime worth fighting for? Is the risk really worth it to myself and ultimately to the Lord? These questions seem fairly obvious, but when the enemy applies just the right pressure, we have to go back and decide them again for ourselves.
It started for me yesterday morning. I hopped onto my blog reader and was able to catch up for the first time in weeks. In the process I stumbled across the blog for Ministry Today Magazine. Now normally I enjoy reading Charisma Magazine and it’s affiliates. They tend to be a lot less oriented to the world system than some Christian media. Yesterday, though, part of their blog reported on a meeting of the Charismatic Leadership Council that has some potentially disturbing results.
Now for those of you unfamiliar with the Charismatic Leadership Council, it’s a coalition of charismatic leaders that somewhat resembles an apostolic council for independent charismatic churches. You can read about their first meeting here. This year the content of their discussion centered on several topics, but the one that caught my eye was the unresolved discussion about the nature of house churches. Basically they are still undecided about whether house churches are a new missional movement in the United States or just a hotbed of bitter, anti-authority believers.
But this got me thinking. What happens if the leaders in the charismatic church totally write off the house church movement? What happens if those that I love and respect suddenly issue a “referendum” against this movement that I’m believing God will use in the days to come? What if I’m called to give an account for those things I believe so strongly? Am I willing to stake my reputation on this movement even if means me being branded as a “radical” or “anti-authoritarian?” So the last day or so I’ve been gripped with fear over this new direction we’re moving. I finally understand how Elijah could run to the wilderness with nothing but a threat from the lips of Jezebel. (FYI: The Charismatic Leadership Council is not Jezebel…but the demonic attack of fear I’m facing is real.)
I’ve had to begin to examine how valuable this thing is to me and to the Lord. I’ve begun to realize the grip that the fear of man still has on my life and my intense need to overcome it at any cost. I don’t believe that everything the house church movement stands for is worth dying for. There are some things they stand for that don’t line up with the Kingdom. But this apostolic Christianity that I’m beginning to see will to the casual observer much like a house church movement. And that will cost us. In order to move ahead with this reality seriously, we have to embrace the possibility that persecution may come from those who love us the most and have lead the way for many years.
The plus side of this whole situation is that God is incredibly good at proving Himself an exceptional leader in our midst. As soon as the enemy came to intimidate me, God spoke directly into the situation. One day later a friend without any knowledge of the situation came with an incredibly accurate word that specifically addressed the need for boldness and resolve in this hour. Now, prophetic knowledge of how to handle myself is good, but knowing that Jesus knows where I am and is familiar with my struggle is so much better. Just knowing Jesus is with you makes it all worth it.
Where does that leave us? Well…we’re still going forward. The cost could be high, but what good thing has ever come without a high price? And so we go forward. We gather, we build, we plant, we sow. Eternity will determine the fruit of our labors.