“Who is this who keeps darkening my counsel without knowing what he’s talking about?” (Job 38 verse 2.)
I think there there is a new fundamentalism arising or perhaps I should say a new Political Correctness is arising which is infiltrating church talk about mission right across the theological spectrum. Don’t know what to call it, but it says things like, “God cannot work through that type of church” or “Of course God will not do the same thing as He did in the past. We can’t expect another… (put in here whatever move of God moment from the past you choose).., of course.”
Listen, God is God. He is in the heavens, rules above the sphere of the earth and does whatsoever pleases Him. He can move in familiar ways or new ways to honour His own unchanging Name and His own unchanging Word and His only begotten Son as well as to honour the works of faith of His church reaching out in mission.
How arrogant to form our theories and pronounce what God can and cannot do in our day!! We may miss the action of God if we insist He moves according to our preferences and predictions. We may even come near to blaspheming the Holy Spirit by speaking against His activity through channels we do not approve of for one reason or another. I think these times are crucial and nothing is more crucial than that we humble ourselves before God, listen more and speak less.
Hugh Black, one of the founders of the Struthers group of churches, used to be approached by people who wanted help from him to go deeper in God. One of the first lessons he would offer was a surprising one: “Learn to shut up.”
May God bless every work of faith in the land. That is not the same as asking Him to back us up in our pontificating or to confirm our carefully reasoned conclusions or to bless or rubber stamp works not of faith but of presumption. I once heard God say, “Kenny, this may surprise you, but I don’t believe about me all that you believe about me.” I suspect He may have said that type of thing more often than I have heard it…