I Am So Excited About the Direction the Church Is Heading. Seriously. Stop Laughing.

The_Bride_by_jubjadeSometimes I surprise people by telling them that I’m really excited about the direction the church is heading. That there’s something really amazing and beautiful happening in the body of Christ. And I can hardly wait to watch and see how it’s all going to unfold.

Some of you know just what I’m talking about, but probably more of you are wondering if I forgot to take my pills today. We’ve all heard the news about people – especially young people – leaving the church. Fewer people show up on Sundays. Christians seem to be represented in public mostly by angry, hateful, oppressive apes in suits who specialize in teaching the faithful to hate everyone in the name of God. And they’re trying to infiltrate our schools, our governments and even our morning coffee to try make sure no one has any choice but to do it their way. Our supposedly Christian country has devolved into one where making money is our God, morality has become a punchline and the poor a punching bag. Surely we need to fix these problems before we can get excited about the direction the church is headed in. Right? Nope. Wrong. Completely wrong.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

That’s not just a principle there. It’s not an idea or a suggestion. It’s an actual instruction. The truth is that you will never find truth by watching the darkness. There’s no real power there. It’s not where God works. If you want to see the truth and reality of what’s going on in the body of Christ, you need to be on the look out for where there’s joy. Where there is breathtaking beauty. Look for something new that makes your heart leap a little – that’s where God is. Remember? “Behold, I make all things new.” Look for the people loving on each other – “all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

Ignore the rest of it – it means nothing. There’s no power there. It’s an illusion and nothing else. I recently read a quote from Rob Bell (which I can’t find at the moment. If anyone has it, please pass in on and I’ll fix it. Or if you know Mr. Bell, you can go ask him for me. Tell him I sent ya! 😉 ). He said, “sure the old guard of the Christian faith is really loud and aggressive right now. They are dying and dying hurts.” That’s all it is.

I know that some people are called to engage directly with the old, dying rear guard. To mitigate the damage they cause, light a beacon for those who need help finding their way out or to offer a testimony for those watching which says those loud, angry, fearful voices aren’t the only ones. But for most of us, I we’re better off simply doing what Jesus told us to do. Lighting our lamps, loving each other, doing the work of healing our hearts, providing for those who have need and walking with those who suffer.

Jesus said that he would draw all men to himself. That’s his work. Our work is to become like our teacher. The battles are already won and the victory is already provided for us. God doesn’t need us to go to battle for him – even with those claiming and defaming his name. One of the amazing things about God’s work is that it doesn’t rely on the goodness of men to change the world at all. So those people who seem to be destroying the church? They don’t need to get on board for God to get the Bride ready to join with Jesus (although they will get on board, once it’s all done). God’s ways have a power all their own. We just need to put down the glue, stop worrying about the riffraff and get on board.

So, what exactly am I seeing in the body which has me so jazzed about the church? Strange as it sounds, part of it is that we’re suffering. Pretty much every Christian I know has endured horrible suffering for the last few years. But as Christians, we join our suffering with the suffering of Christ on the cross and then we get to share in his resurrection. That’s the deal. We’re not suffering like people being destroyed, we’re suffering like a woman in labor.

As anyone who’s been through labor knows, there’s a point where you say, “I can’t do this any more. I don’t want to do this. Make it stop!” How many times have you said that in the last few years? How many times have I? But it’s when those words come out that you know you’re getting to the end. There’s a baby coming. All this horrible, awful suffering we’ve been going through? It means there’s a baby coming! It’s new life. The world around us may be dying away, but not us. We are being born of the spirit! It’s happening – I can see it all around me. Check your heart – it will tell you that I’m speaking the truth. It knows.

The other reason I’m excited about the church is because I’ve been looking and listening and there are these beautiful, joyous, loving voices rising up. You may not hear them yet while the dying are making so much darn noise. But you will. They are coming. And they won’t be stopped. Want to know what they sound like? They sound like this:

We are the Living Epistles.
I see a group of dangerous people rising from all over the nations.
I see a group of explosive Saints who are refusing to submit to the mundane system of religion.
I see a group of dynamic… powerful… fierce… Sons & Daughters who will shake the very foundation of Christianity.
These are mad people… They are crazy… They are insane… They are psychotic… They are definitely dangerous.
Unashamed, Undignified, Unafraid… Satisfied, Steadfast, Selfless… Passionate, Practical, Perfect… And Undoubtedly Peculiar.

I hear so many people prophesying about a Jacob Generation or a David Generation that is to come.
This isn’t a Joseph Generation. This isn’t an Elijah Generation.
God is raising up a group of babblers who knows nothing but Christ and Christ Crucified.
God has proclaimed that we will be a Generation of Feasters, Drunkards, Gluttons…
People who are completely satisfied in the Finished work of Jesus.
This is a Generation of people who look like Jesus… like Paul… like the church of Acts…
This is a Love Generation. A Drunk Generation. A Grace Generation. A Gospel Generation.
And it’s not coming tomorrow nor are we hoping for it to come today.
It’s here. I heard it all through social media. Facebook, Youtube, etc.
Most of all, I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes.

This is not a generation that will be seeking signs and wonders.
This is a generation that has become a Sign and a Wonder to the whole world.
This is a generation that will declare the Good news of what God did right and not what Men did wrong.
This is a generation that will declare the redemption of the Last Adam and not the fall of the First.
This is a generation that will declare the death, the burial, the resurrection, and the ascension of all men… to all men…
This is a generation that will proclaim the hope of the Nations… Jesus… to every tribe and tongue.
This is a generation that will radiate in the most “darkest regions” as so called men has labeled… They will illuminate… They will shine… We are already glowing…
God is raising up people all over the world, who are completely satisfied, completely drenched, completely secure in who they are.

I’m so honored to be in the presence of those who are not ashamed of the Good news of Jesus.
I’m so honored to be in the presence of those who will not bow to the First Adam but is resting their heads on the Bosom of Christ.
I’m so honored to be in the presence of those will not partake of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, but are feasting on the tree of Life.

Get ready religion, because you are not staying in business any longer.

You will see the day where Nature will stop groaning…
The Sons of God are here… and they know who their Daddy is… who they are.

There is no other direction the body can go… There is no escape… This is imminent…

We are the manifestations of God on Earth.
We are the Gospel on full display.
We are the Living Epistles. ~ Jung Hwan Kim

Do you see it? Do you hear it? This is what’s happening right now. We are the generation of the Living Epistles. You and me and a growing crowd of others. We may seem overpowered and out-gunned right now. But this is what the truth looks like. This is what is coming.

So don’t be discouraged. Don’t search the darkness any more. Turn to the light. Seek it out. Listen to it. There are amazing things going on in the church. She is more beautiful than you’ve ever imagined. It’s going to be exciting to watch and see how it all plays out, don’t you think?

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8 thoughts on “I Am So Excited About the Direction the Church Is Heading. Seriously. Stop Laughing.

  1. Great article! God has truly given you vision to see the ‘silent’ revolution that is taking place.

    We are emerging…

    There is a great battle coming. A battle between established religious system and its theology and the revolutionaries.

    The One who leads us into battle is the risen Christ!!

    Like

  2. Pingback: You Can’t Fight Reality Forever « The Upside Down World

  3. I might not use the term “church” when speaking of my enthusiasm for the present, but I am certainly enthusiastic because of the growing number of Christians, apprentices of Jesus [Dallas Willard’s favored term] who understand God’s Good News of the Kingdom, the Shalom [Nicholas Wolterstorff’s gift to us] proclaimed by the Prince of Shalom, Jesus the Christ.

    Great essay – thanks !!!

    Like

  4. Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times

    by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

    (Published with permission.Visit http://www.mavenproductions.com/estes.html)

    My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered.

    They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

    You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times.

    Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

    In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

    Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

    One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall:

    When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

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