Odyssey80 has sent me an article, ‘Truth, Reality, and the Anointing’ by Art Katz. It’s about the state of the Pentecostal church in particular, raising some interesting questions. Here’s a couple of paragraphs which introduce the train of thought in the article:
I think I’m sensing something of the Lord’s grief for the condition of the church, the unreality of the church. I think no where is it more flagrant than in, ironically, the Holy Spirit, charismatic, Pentecostal dimension. I don’t have all that much contact with fundamental churches, but I think in a certain sense they may well be cleaner than we. They make no profession of the gifts of the Spirit which we purport to have and therefore, they don’t run into the kind of excesses and abuses that we exhibit. That was what the Lord put on my heart. …
…And so we’ve moved away from this moment by moment dependency in authentic relationship with God to somehow thinking that anointing is a fixed thing conferred upon certain men of faith and power and that naiveté requires us to turn up the amplifiers to give a sense of anointing, a certain loudness in the church, in our speaking, in our activity which the naive presume to think IS anointing. The message is a call to authenticity, to reality, because God is the God of truth and when we move off and away from that place and come to unreality, the Spirit is not there, and we therefore compensate for it by turning up the dials, which further deepens the unreality and puts the church in a lamentable place and condition.
In particular, Odyssey80 asks what everyone thinks of these three points raised by Katz:
1. anointing is not some fixed phenomenon that God confers on individuals as if it were an office, an ecclesiastical office in the church, but something proportionate to one’s actual authentic relationship with God in moment by moment obedience to the thing which He requires……..And so we’ve moved away from this moment by moment dependency in authentic relationship with God to somehow thinking that anointing is a fixed thing conferred upon certain men of faith and power and that naiveté requires us to turn up the amplifiers to give a sense of anointing, a certain loudness in the church, in our speaking, in our activity which the naive presume to think IS anointing. [Sorry to repeat that para – RP]
2. We’ve become dull. You cannot be exposed to untruth [Christian surrealism] and come away unscathed. Something is lost, your spirit becomes dull and then the next opportunity for being brought into unreality is the greater until by a series of meetings and exposures and the whole content of that kind of thing, we become deceived. I am concerned that we’re moving toward that.
3. “our whole Christian viewpoint is fixed at the level of what we will receive in our petitions and prayers, is “Lord do for me” and “give me”, there’s no abundance beyond that. I think that the abundance……comes when we go beyond our own needs and take up the things that have to do with the Lord’s need; His Name, His honor, His glory, His purpose, His will…..And I think that [self-focus] is characteristic, unhappily, of most of the church today. Even all the more painfully, the charismatic and Pentecostal segment of it.
The article is worth a read. What does everyone think?