Last night I found myself watching a Christian TV program. Yeah, you got it right. The guy who never watches Christian TV was watching a church service or conference from the Netherlands. I got caught by listening to the worship service being sung in English with strong Dutch accents. It was something I hadn’t heard before.
Well, only later did I realize that a fairly famous American pastor was going to be the guest speaker. He is famous in some parts of the Charismatic movement. I am not going to name who it was just because in all honesty this has nothing to do with him.
It has to do with a hyper-spiritualized culture within parts of the Charismatic movement that feels the need for “new revelation”. Along with the need to have a new revelation comes the long and lengthy explanations of how they came to the revelation that they believe they have gotten.
Honestly, I am tired of hyper-spirituality. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the supernatural. I believe in the miraculous. I even believe that God does reveal things to us that we have not seen before. I just don’t believe in hype. I don’t believe that God made things hard to understand. I don’t believe that our focus should be on minutiae.
Putting Our Focus On the Main and the Plain
1 Corinthians 2:4
And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul understood a very important principle here. He understood that how knowledgeable and how eloquent he tried to be was directly tied to how dependent He was upon the Holy Spirit. If he tried to sound super spiritual and if he tried to be a great orator, then he was trusting in his own abilities and not the abilities of the Holy Spirit.
Last night the man I was watching was not a great orator. He was, however, trying to compensate by “imparting” teaching that was “new” and exclusive to him. He was compensating by trying to prove how “knowledgeable” he was.
Since I am out of the “Charismatic guru” loop and haven’t watched more than a dozen Christian TV shows in the last 20 years, my whole response was “What the heck is he talking about?” It was neither the main message of the scriptures nor was it plain at all.
The Christian life is not about new revelations or exclusive teachings. It is about plainly communicating the heart of God to people. God wants it plain. We need it plain. Most of us are not super-spiritual. We need it so simple a caveman can get it. If you don’t believe me, then listen to this passage.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
The Apostle Paul is confident that God wants and will make things plain to us. In this case, it was about moving forward in the grace that God has given us instead of returning to our past ways.
The point is that God’s heart is that we would make the message plain not complicated. When we start making things complicated we open the door for deception because not everyone picks up on every little nuance. We actually are immature when we make things complicated. It is those that are immature that chase after those types of things.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Now I am not accusing the man who was speaking of deliberately trying to deceive or trick people. I think he is just caught up in the culture we have bought into in the Charismatic church where we are always seeking the next revelation.
Folks we don’t have the first revelation down yet. Just allowing the Holy Spirit to work as He wills is a lifetime goal. We don’t need some new teaching about words becoming spirit or gifts of discernment being used to know how God is favoring someone.
How about just being a blessing with your gracious words, and how about understanding that not everything spiritual is from God.
That is the main and the plain.
Can we just get back to being surrendered, humble, Spirit-led, and empowered Christians and leave all the hyper spirituality to the dancing bears?