I can’t particularly help it. I just feel so uncomfortable in Christian meetings where there is what I consider unecessary hype and showiness in ministry. I recall being deeply disturbed in one such meeting. It is not that I think the ministry that disturbed me was not genuine, this was not judgmentalism kicking in, but I was unsettled in a not good way. I could find no solace for my spirit, soul and indeed body, until I went out to a Christian bookshop in the town I was visiting, and bought a cassette tape in which Duncan Campbell was speaking about Revival. He put God back at the centre of things and refreshed my soul! I felt relieved to hear of God being given His glory for His awesome deeds. I need to hear about God to be well spiritually, but it has become a bit of a habit to talk at Christian meetings of anything other than God Himself. You are just as likely to hear a plan for the church, a blueprint for mission or a motivational talk which would be fully at home in the secular world many Sunday mornings in many churches as you are to hear from the Scriptures in preaching or teaching or communication in some shape or form anointed by the Spirit about God, about Jesus Himself. Again, I need to hear about God, about Jesus Himself on a Sunday. I thirst for that. Without being renewed in the truth and life of God HImself, I have nothing, not one thing to offer to anyone.
Today, I was reading “In the Day of Thy Power” by Arthur Wallis . Duncan Campbell wrote the Foreword to the first edition back in the 1950’s. He says this:
“How many of us are really prepared to face the stark fact that we have been outmaneuvered by thestrategy of hell because we have tried to meet the Enemy of human levels by human strategy? In this way we have succeeded in making people church conscious, mission conscious or even crusade conscious without making them God conscious…” He then goes on to write about his hopes for Wallis’s book: “This book, will, I trust, act as a corrective to help to bring the church back to a true recognition of the basic fact that revival must ever be related to righteousness, and that the way to a revivied church is still the way of repentance and true holiness.”
Relevant words at a time when the Church in its liberal, evangelical, charismatic, high church and Celtic appearances is speaking more about relevant mission (a good thing it is!) than at any other time I can remember in my Christian life…