What is Behind All This?
I read Jay’s book, Son of a Preacher Man, and it deeply impacted me. I was so blessed in comparison to much of what he has endured. But, I understand the confusion and the pain and the rejection and the sense of not being understood or accepted for who you are, especially if you are named after your dad, which he and I have in common.
It is a remarkable story of God’s grace to see a man see his father in a new light and to see them as God would see them, even if it is in a small measure. This is grace at work. To see it transform your own pain into an opportunity for the Kingdom to explode and impact your generation, well that is remarkable, and again the testimony of how God impacts others through our own journeys of faith.
Here is what Jay Bakker says about the place the Lord has him in right now, and the ministry of Revolution Church:
“The Idea of Revolution
To show all people the unconditional love and grace of Jesus without any reservations due to their lifestyle or religious background, past or future. This love has no agenda behind it (I Corinthians 13:5). This grace sets no timeline on personal change or standards for spiritual growth (Romans 4:4-5). The idea is to be a part of people’s lives because we truly care for them rather than to fulfill a religious duty; to walk with them through all their struggles as a part of their life, not as a religious outsider.
The desire at the heart of Revolution is to see this idea spread to other communities and churches. We aspire to see people from other communities and churches taking to heart the true message of the grace and love of Christ, and in turn to see them spread this message to those in their community, building relationships and sharing in the life experiences of those around them (Galatians 6:2-3), and living out the grace, hope and love that God has blessed them with.
Religion is a false perception of holiness that focuses on law and kills the true message of Christ. Jesus had much to say about the religious who put the law before his true message:
“…How terrible it will be for you experts of religious law! For you crush people beneath impossible religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.” Luke 11:46
“How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law- justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the most important things. Blind Guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat; then you swallow a camel.” Matthew 23:23-24
Jesus came and declared that the most important law was “You must love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37.39) Religion ignores the reasons behind this being the most important commandment and only focuses on the exterior and works as a way to get close to God. It is religion that not only kills the true message of hope Christ taught but also has held back the lost from understanding the true meaning of Christianity.
Jesus Is The Saviour Not Christianity
Are we defending Christ or Christianity? Will enforcing the ideals of a pre-packaged Christian lifestyle help people feel the love of Christ? Do we believe that our lifestyles hold more truths than Jesus? Are we driving people to Christianity or leading them to Christ?
Equal Rights Is a Moral Issue
In order to truly live the moral life presented in the gospel we are called to fight for a better quality of life for others. Regardless of background, belief or country of residence, all should be guaranteed equal rights and livable wages.
Sweatshops exploit the poverty level of workforces all over the world – including our own. They value product over human life and sanitary working conditions. With our new line of merchandise, we are using companies that offer an alternative to the sweatshop business model.”
[taken from the website of Revolution Church, http://www.revolutionnyc.com%5D
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January 2018
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