The “New Pentecostal” Manifesto

Samuel Lee, from Holland, has come up with a proposed ‘Statement of Faith’ for new Pentecostals. Even though I don’t agree with every word, it really sums up what I and other Pentecostals have been feeling for a while now:

“The New Kind of Pentecostals are:

1.Those who do not claim exclusivity of the Holy Spirit to a particular denomination or church.

2. Those who respect other Christian denominations and traditions and are willing to fellowship, share and cooperate with them.

3.Those who believe that the unconditional love that is inspired & directed by the Holy Spirit in believers is the greatest sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

4. Those who share the Good News with all mankind, but in a manner full of grace and love and not through arrogance and “the-we-know-better-than-you-mentality…”

5. Those who believe that miracles, signs and wonders are still possible today, but one should not elevate these above the humility and the message of Jesus Christ. They are those who are against commercializing and merchandizing the gifts and signs of the Holy Spirit.

6. Those who do not tolerate any form of fear-theology and manipulation techniques in the name of the Holy Spirit in order to gain wealth, even for the ministry.

7. Those who believe in the grace that is in giving tithes and offerings but are against abusive and manipulative forms of preaching/using Malachi 3:8… Tithes and offerings should not be controlled and must come from the heart of the giver and not from the fear preached from the pulpit.

8. Those who may disapprove of the non-heterosexual lifestyle, but are not witch-hunting homosexuals. Instead of using hateful vocabulary toward homosexuals, they listen to and pray for them.

9. Those who are balanced in their theology on Israel/Zionism. New Kind of Pentecostals are those who aim to play the role of bridge builders between the Jews and Palestinians. For God loves both…

10. Those who are not only concerned with miracles, signs and wonders, but are also concerned with social justice, and with the poor, the oppressed, the orphans, the widows and the immigrants.

11. Those who respect other cultures’ and people’s convictions and even religions, and are willing to enter into a mutual dialogue with them, without any hidden agendas.

12. Those who respect and have a dialogue with other cultures, yet when it comes to any form of inhumane practices within these cultures, the New Pentecostals are willing to address them.

13. Those who are concerned with the environment and are willing to bring in Pentecostal input in caring for the creation.

14. Those who believe in the Bible as the inspired collection of Holy Scriptures, yet they use the scriptures to bring forth grace and mercy and offer blessings instead of doom and gloom theology.

15. Those who believe that leadership should be servant hood; that leaders should serve instead of being served. Leaders should sacrifice instead of demanding sacrifice. Leadership should be based on love and fellowship and not on spiritual rank.

16. Those who respect traditional churches, or organized churches, but believe that the real church is built of people and their relationship with God and with each other. They are those who believe that the church is not a “building”, but it is a part of God continually fulfilling kingdom.”

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Have we become this bored with Jesus???

I saw this on Bob Hyatt’s blog and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  Have we seriously lost sight of the mission of Jesus so much that we resort to doing the “Holy Ghost hokey pokey” to entertain people?  This stuff makes me want to cry (and not in the good way).

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My kind of leadership

I don’t want to be a part of a denomination or institution or religion.  Before I die, I want to be in the very center of a bona fide, life changing, generation defining movement and that movement will only happen when we get back to making disciples of Christ! Contrary to popular belief, Jesus never once called us to plant churches.  Go ahead, scour the pages of the entire Bible…you will not find one single scripture that exhort us to plant churches.  Then, put the Bible down and go to the christian bookstore and compare the number of books on church planting compared to how to make (or be) a disciple.  Somehow, we’ve deluded ourselves in the rationale that if we plant really cool, hip churches, then people will automatically become disciples.  Well, we’ve failed miserably…if you don’t believe me, read the stats.

So, as I was thinking and praying about this, I asked God to show me what a movement would look like in our generation…what will discipleship look like in these postmodern times?  And one day, I came across a dancing fool from the Sasquatch music festival.  This is just one guy who couldn’t care less of what people think of him…yes, he is shirtless and probably on drugs, but he is authentic and genuine and people join him.  In him, I see how a movement works and I SO long to see it happen with the church in America.

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The crap we put up with getting on and off a plane

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Sunday night mind dump

*INCREDIBLE night tonight!

*We are awed that God brought such an eclectic, talented and genuinely nice group of people into our lives at just the right time!

*Sanctuary Church turned 6 months old today!  We started from absolute scratch with no people and God has grown our group not only numerically but has stretched each of us unlike ever before.

*I finally understand what true community actually is.  We tried to “form” it before in small groups/community groups but it just never felt right.  But, as we sat around our living room tonight, I realized that I truly cared about these people…I want the best for these people…I want to see these people succeed in life and fall in love with Jesus in a huge way.  I guess that’s what community is and I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to find it.

*It was great to hear people’s salvation experience tonight.  You never know where someone really comes from unless you have a safe place to share that story at and I think we’ve become that place.  We also agreed tonight that we are going to take the risk of being a place where ANYONE can belong before they believe.  That will be messy and tricky at times but will be SO worth it!

*We have a cook out planned in 2 weeks and I’m really praying that some of the people that we’ve been praying for can make it out…it’s going to be a blast!

*I’m cautiously optimistic about the Redskins this year.  If nothing else, they should be drastically better than the last few years with Zorn, Campbell and the rest of the sorry line up they had.

*That’s it…I’ve been sick all week and am tired so I’ll just end by saying how very excited I am about what’s going to happen!

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Anne Rice quits Christianity

Legendary author Anne Rice has announced that she’s quitting Christianity.

The “Interview with a Vampire” author, who wrote a book about her spirituality titled “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession” in 2008, said Wednesday that she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.”

Rice wrote, “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

Rice then added another post explaining her decision on Thursday:

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me,” Rice wrote. “But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

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Big things for Sanctuary Church

Wow, I haven’t posted here in a long time.  I used to get really annoyed with bloggers who don’t post for months at a time but I now realize why it happens…you are too insanely busy to do one more thing.  But, as my kids are playing with their train this morning, I have a few minutes to give an update on what’s happening in life.

First, Paige and I leave for a week long trip to St Thomas in about 17 days!!!  We haven’t really been alone without the kids for about 3 years now, so this is much needed in every area possible.  I can’t wait to just chill out on the beach, read a good book, eat awesome food and spend uninterrupted time again with the love of my life.  It should be great!

Second, things are really beginning to pick up at Sanctuary Church.  We have a spectacular core group of people that have committed themselves to the church and each other.  We have been meeting for the past few months and formed really good relationships with each other and have dreamed and cried and laughed and ate A LOT!  We’ve also been able to begin to serve our community starting with our 1st serving event this past Saturday as we volunteered at the local homeless shelter.  It was great to see our little group being able to make such a big impact in people’s lives.

We have some HUGE things coming up and could use lots and lots of prayer.  The plan is to move from bi-weekly gatherings to weekly gatherings beginning in August…we also want to begin to include some Sunday morning gatherings in the mix.  But the BIG news is that we are looking for locations to host our 1st actual worship gathering where we can open it up to the public and have a little bit more space than the living room.  These gatherings will be really laid back and will include good music, teaching, communion, prayer and a shared meal.  We’re really hoping to have our 1st gathering in either September or October and will hopefully be finding a good storefront/vacant building in the Havre De Grace area.  So, please help us pray for favor and direction as we move forward in the path that we think God has called us to.

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