Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What would you do (WWYD)?

I like to raise a question. Imagine you have a very successful ministry (or church), which you have built up over the many years by tirelessly working for it with all your energy. You have gained a huge population of ‘followers’ through your books, websites, sermons, blogs, radio and television ministries. You literally have a cutting edge theology, doctrines, principles, worldviews and biblical frameworks. You have used some great sounding illustrations to explain your positions on theological matters and you believe with all your heart what you teach/preach/write is faultless. From the financial contributions of your ‘partners’, listeners and followers you built a world-class head quarters in one of the metro cities in U.S. You even have international coverage, and gained access to some of the highly unreachable areas around the world. You make a good living out of your ministry; your spouse resigned from his/her job and joined you to help you out in the work of the Lord. You have many of your relatives in the ministry’s payroll. There are multitudes out there sending money to your ministry accounts every month by partnering with you as ‘members’. Let’s say your ministry is now 5, 10 or 20 years old and you slowly began to understand the theology you embraced for years is not really standing against the scrutiny of the truth of the New Testament. Your understanding is challenged and shaken by some of the things God started to reveal to you from His Word (It all started from the darkest moment of your life where you wondered why some of your principles didn't really work in real life). You are in utter confusion, but God is not stopping there, he is continually, without apology, challenging your heart. You really started feeling the ‘double-edged sword’ going deep into your soul, God is removing the veil over your eyes, things becoming clearer and clearer every day in a fresh perspective. You are even wondering how you missed the obvious. You struggled with God and His Word, but can’t win, finally reaching a point where you either ignore the truths mindlessly and continue with the work of the ministry as if nothing happened OR you admit everything you have ever learned/taught was utterly wrong and make a 180 degree turn. You are standing on fire that without tearing off major parts of the Bible (Pauline Epistles, for example) you can't win.

What would you do?

On one side shame, ego, money, fame, people, buildings, books, CDs and on the other side truth...

I am not particularly asking YOU to answer the question but I was just thinking out loud what would people do in such situations. Can someone knowingly teach error? Can someone teach some 'principles' which don't even work in their own life, again and again? How much people can illogically double talk? How strong the 'tradition' can become, over the truth?

4 comments:

Amy said...

Bino,
Great question.

As you know, I watched Darin Hufford personally experience pretty much word-for-word experienced what you described.

The choice he made to leave the IC, speaks to his heart. He wasn't going to brush the Truth under the rug for his own financial security/paycheck or to stay at the mega-church "level."

His heart is love and truth. He knew in his heart, he had a huge decision to make. And, I know he made the best one.

I think, we, as Christians who have also left the IC, to begin an intimate relationship with Christ, while having not faced exactly what Darin did. We took a "risk" too.

We were faced with the same issue. We had to choose whether we'd just try to drown out our heart's cry that what we were hearing was wrong; or drown out the truth that the relationships we had in these clubs were quite honestly, not authentic either; we could have chose the familiar over the unknown. The familiar being everything we'd followed and been told, but in our hearts knew wasn't right. The unknown being what would our life look like if we completely stepped out of the Law.

So, in essense, I think all of us who have emerged from the Law, we all stood on a personal "threshold" moment where we were faced with a big decision.

Intimacy/Truly Knowing God/True Relationship with Him
Or...
Bound to the Law/Religion/Staleness/God squished into a "box" by institutional mind-sets

~Amy :)

RJW said...

Bino,
Found you through Joel; great stuff; thank you.:)
Some of the finished work/grace pastors I know experienced what you're describing. I don't think they ever looked back; grace had gripped them!
I find it hard to sit in legalistic services now; I can't imagine presiding over one.
Our pastor left a large thriving fellowship to begin a new one in a smaller town; you would have had to have met him to see and hear the sheer joy and freedom in his life.
Aren't our blogs attempts to somehow describe in mere words this LOVE/GRACE/FREEDOM that has swept us away? Not Jesus as Savior, only, but Jesus as Life, Lover, our very Existence?

Aida said...

Bino, while my situation wasn't on the level of what you shared, I was vice president and secretary of the local chapter of a major international ministry. Some of my responsibiliteis were to promote programs and fund raising that I didn't agree with.

It was very hard so I did it but was as low key as I could be. What kept me focused was knowing that in one year my term of office would be over and I would be resigning all of my positions. It was terribly stressful as I knew I was compromising in major areas of my beliefs. What a relief when I was finally able to resign.

I didn't give up a paycheck but I lost a very impressive position within the group as well as additional perks.

Giving that all up is hard for some people and some people choose to compromise rather than give up all of the perks. It is hard so I can't say it was an easy thing to give it up.

I have a great deal of respect for men like Darin Hufford and Wayne Jacobsen who chose to give it up when they had no visible way of support. I'm sure they didn't make their decision lightly. Even though Wayne was kicked out of his group, he could have taken steps to stop that but chose not to.

Those two men have been a great inspiration to me and I'm thankful they were willing to pay the price to be able to speak freedom to me and thousands of other folks.

Bino M. said...

Amy,

I have read half way through Darrin's book 'God's honest Truth', in that he shares snippets of his mega church experience and all.I think many of the grace teachers have similar stories, at least I know Steve McVey's and Bob George's stories. They were all very successful in their ministries and eventually took a stand for Truth. I greatly appreciate all of them. But at the same time, I am pretty sure there are others who are still hanging to there religious securities. I am hoping to see people taking bold stand for the truth.

Thank you for sharing!

RJW,

Welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Like I just mentioned to Amy, I know some of those teachers who took such a step to detach themselves from the dead religion and preach the message of grace and freedom in Christ. I thank God for them.
I too can't sit in a legalistic setting anymore. I just can't tolerate it.

Aida,

Wow! I didn't know you once held such a position in ministry. I hear you, it's not easy to give up such things in life. Money may not be involved but the prestige such positions can bring to people's lives makes it even harder. I am glad you mentioned about Wayne, I didn't know his background.