When A Movement Becomes An Institution: Dr. Duane W.H. Arnold PhD

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86 Responses

  1. Ms, ODM says:

    The next move of the Holy Spirit will be the rapture of the Remnant. We won’t even be missed.

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hey, I am kinda with Ms ODM, except… I think the next move of the Holy Spirit will be the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ as described in Matthew 25.

  3. Dennis says:

    MLD
    Which will be sometime in 2032-2033- The next Blood Moon

  4. Jean says:

    Duane,
    For someone who has no background in CC, this was an article I learned and benefited from. I would love to see God call a new batch of pastors to be His messengers with the Gospel to the growing number of unchurched folks in Western civilization, especially right here in the US. I don’t think it’s going to be the gray hairs among us.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    #4
    Yes, the key word Jean is “new”… New wine in old wineskins, I have on good authority, will not work.

  6. Anne says:

    Yowza!,, #1 explains so much I had forgotten to consider that figures in with ODM and others thinking , having been out of the loop for quite some time. From that statement it sounds like it is assumed the last great move/ revival of HS was because of CS (after all US churches were dead before he hit scene we were told), and nothing bigger will hit again until the rapture and we have to follow CS’s jot and tittle to make the rapture ( although even he wound up sadly missing it by dying instead.) so correct me if I’m wrong or if everyone already remembers this – the only possible exception because there is no new or future outpourings beside the rapture to look forward to, anything else must therefore either be by elimination deception or apostasy?????? Hahaha.!!! All the ways the human brain works its imagination and endless study of one collection of books and many different men’s interpretations of it never ceases to amaze me in its delightful variation and creativity. Too bad so much of the result is downright destructive and unloving if not plain evil. Peace to all whose idea of loving God is demonstrated by their love of family & neighbor above all else!!

  7. Xenia says:

    Before I say what I’m going to say, I don’t deny the fact that God clearly used the so-called “Jesus Movement” to bring many people into His Kingdom.

    Having said that, the “Jesus Movement” has much to answer for. I am writing as one who grew up in traditional evangelicalism (Baptist), spent 20 years in a “Jesus Movement” fellowship (Calvary Chapel) and have spent the last 15 years in a traditional historic liturgical Church (Eastern Orthodoxy). The “Jesus Movement,” especial the CC expression of it, is the root cause (or at least guilty of normalizing) many things that I now consider to be errors, some grave:

    1. Rebellion against church authority which ironically morphed into authoritarianism at the local level. The episcopal form of church government was replaced with the Moses Model. Bishops, who were themselves accountable, were replaced with mini-popes who aren’t accountable to anyone.

    2. Loss of the sacred. Beautiful churches were replaced with warehouses, crosses and crucifixes were replaced with power point presentations or clever logos, the choir loft was replaced with drum sets and guitar stands. No beauty anywhere. Even the churches of the Reformation, famous for “four walls and a pulpit” were architecturally lovely.

    The people no longer come to church dressed in their Sunday best; they come dressed as casually as possible. The Savior is not someone to be approached with reverence, he’s our best buddy and we can just hang out together in our sweats and flip flops.

    3. Normalization of the Rapture error. Sure, I heard about the Rapture as a traditional Baptist but it took the “Jesus Movement” to catapult this false teaching into the American mainstream.

    4. Disrespect of the Holy Scriptures. Now this might sound strange, since I also believe that evangelicals can fall into the error of making the Bible into an idol, but the disdain of proper education for pastors, the idea that anyone can understand the Scriptures well enough to teach it to others, the wild assortment of pop Bibles now available (Patriot’s Bible, all the various versions named after a famous pastor, etc. etc.) has the effect of making the Bible so common and ordinary that it borders on disrespect. Compare a typical evangelical pastor standing at his pulpit waving his Bible around as he offers his personal opinions to a liturgical church where the Gospel book is carefully brought out before the people and read with reverence. Where the homily is short and based on what the Church has always taught, not on what the pastor claims God has revealed to him.

    5. Music. I think the presence of rock music in church services is a desecration. (And I say this as the mother of a successful worship leader/ CCM artist.)

    So I will not lament the demise of the Jesus movement. Apart from the salvation of some souls, I think it was a disaster of the same caliber as the “free love” movement of the 60’s which had such a deleterious effect on our culture.

  8. CostcoCal says:

    Quite the analysis from a person that hasn’t been attending Calvary Chapel for decades and decades.

  9. Michael says:

    I do not believe that the next move of the Holy Spirit will be the Rapture.
    I believe the Holy Spirit is always moving…

    There may be yet another revival and once again it will come from the margins…from the gays and from the migrants,from the young and from the discarded old, from those who have been pushed to the fringes of society lest they block the view of those waiting for the Rapture to deliver them from such people…

  10. Steve says:

    Xenia,

    I love your analysis. I going to be just a bit more frank. I don’t see this movement either more or less of a “movement of God” than the fantastic customer service I get at Chick Fillet’s drive thru.

  11. Michael says:

    Duane,

    As someone who loves church history, I appreciate the fact that you see the end of an era here as well.
    I think your analysis is spot on…and we should all take heed to the lessons that can be learned from the last fifty years…

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    # 7 – Can’t argue with much that you have written. You’ve also pointed out something in your first point on leadership – most institutions end up becoming the opposite of what they started out professing…

    The rest of the points are, unfortunately, true. I think, however, that most of them are based in the culture at large rather than in the Jesus Movement specifically…. Just my opinion…

  13. Xenia says:

    Hi Duane, thanks.

    I think the problem was the the Jesus Movement embraced certain elements of the culture rather than strengthening people to resist it.

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    #11

    Michael

    Many thanks. I do believe that it is the end of an era. Soon, even those of us who have lived through it will be gone. I believe it is important to look at it all – good and bad – and consider the lessons for the next generation…

  15. DavidM says:

    #7 I’ve been a CC pastor for many years. However, much of what Xenia wrote certainly resonates with me. I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the lack of sacredness, the pastor as cheerleader more than shepherd, the obsession with the rapture, and the familiarity with God, often losing the sense of awe and mystery in the relationship.

    Sometimes warehouses are the only spaces available, so I don’t necessarily take issue with those particular comments. But, I get the underlying thought, and it is all disturbing to behold, particularly the loss of the sacred.

  16. Xenia says:

    Pastor David, your response was a happy surprise for me. Maybe the pendulum will swing the other way, eh?

    Orthodox Churches often meet in office spaces, storefronts, etc., but the congregation always works to make these make-shift spaces as beautiful as possible.

  17. ( | o )====::: says:
  18. ( | o )====::: says:

    …the camera focuses back from the long view of the past, the nostalgia, the dated music fades, and the focus is on an intimate hillside where a patch of grass is springing up, watered by a fresh swirling rain, from a silent breeze of untraceable origin and direction

  19. Steve Wright says:

    Beautiful churches were replaced with warehouses
    ————————————————————————————-
    (Taken from a website of a CC church plant. Pretty typical of the movement in general.)

    In the spring of 1988, a small group of dedicated themselves to bring a Calvary Chapel to our area. Through hard work and prayers, this small group began to grow, and on June 30, 1991 the first Sunday Service took place in a small office building..

    Services were held in converted office buildings as the church strived to purchase property for a permanent home. The determination was never lost, and on February 20, 2014 we were able to purchase a 2 1/2 acre parcel which included a 3,000 square foot building. Since the purchase, the building has been renovated to include our current church, fellowship hall, office and kitchen. Sunday school is taught in a converted trailer, and the church grounds now host the needs of the congregation.
    ————————————————————————————————
    Oh, wait a minute. This is actually taken from the website of the Greek Orthodox church plant in my area.

    That’s the thing about church PLANTS. Beautiful churches were not REPLACED. They are still there. Empty, but there. (Or in Europe they are converted to mosques). A plant requires a new location. Of course, this too is where the evangelical is criticized either way – criticized for not having a beautiful church building and instead having services in a warehouse…but then, if a church does spend a lot of money to build a beautiful building, oh, how the criticism rains down hard on that evangelical church and pastor. This is why it never pays to listen to some critics. Because some critics are critics for criticism sake only, not for any desire for betterment.

    But whenever the Orthodox get around to planting the occasional church, it seems they follow the same pattern as the typical CC – at least this one sure did.

    The rest of that screed is likewise mostly without merit. Some of the most classic hymns in history were words set to “secular” musical scores. The rapture certainly was influencing church doctrines for decades prior. I would rather see more people with Bibles, even if it means they share their thoughts with one another at Bible studies when they used to be getting loaded, than a set apart priesthood who alone has the knowledge of God’s word (to the few who care anymore)

    But frankly, why elaborate further with anyone even remotely comparing the planting of thousands of churches and saving of millions of souls to the damage of abortion, p*rnography, divorce and AIDS and other STDs,…..well, maybe that is one of those “idle words” God will take account of one day. “A disaster of the same caliber?” – good grief.

  20. MKW says:

    Well, all this commentary forgets one important fact, and that is many were saved, including myself, via the existence of a CC; many will be in heaven because of CC preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now that we are all older in the faith, we have become armchair theologians, and are those pretending to know what is in the heart, mind, and purposes of Jesus Christ regarding any “movement” past or present:; Jesus, the head of THE CHURCH. Jesus Christ, in heavenly places, crowned with glory, in whom the Father has placed all things, both old and new, both in heaven and earth. If I had to throw my 2 cents into the hat, and forgive me for doing so, I would say that the next movement of the HS, which has always been His movement and intent, would be into Jesus Christ.

  21. Steve Wright says:

    Orthodox Churches often meet in office spaces, storefronts, etc., but the congregation always works to make these make-shift spaces as beautiful as possible.
    —————————————————–
    LOL…and we strive to keep them as trashy as possible. Right.

    Talk about moving the goalposts

  22. DavidM says:

    Xenia, thank you. Who knows what the future holds, whether the pendulum will swing the other way. For CC pastors, it will require thinkers no critically, thinking for themselves. That is always a threat to “Moses-model” leaders. It is difficult to control independent thinkers.

    Also, I meant to say I don’t necessarily agree with your comments regarding buildings.

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    #20

    I don’t think anyone is denying that good was done, souls saved, the Bible taught – I came to faith through CCCM – we’re simply trying to place the recent split into some sort of perspective…

  24. pstrmike says:

    Thanks Duane. I remember when The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert hit the record bins at the Christian bookstore that was located in the Huntington Beach Mall. That is where I bought that album. I remember looking at the photos on the back of the album cover which looked like they were taken at a Maranatha! concert that was held at Millikan High school in Long Beach, CA. Somehow our baptist youth pastor found out about the concert and the whole youth group piled into the two church buses that we had went to the concert. My youth pastor was freaked out by all the long hairs and charismania (at in his opinion) that taking place that evening. Our youth group never attending a Maranatha! concert again, but that didn’t stop many of us from being at Calvary Chapel every Saturday night.

    There was a sense of freedom there that I think Brodersen is trying to recapture.

    I moved from Southern Cal in the early 80’s and did not attend a Calvary Chapel until the early 90’s. IN my 10 year hiatus, things were noticeably difference. There was little freedom, many rules, and overbearing pastors who thought that their every whim was inspired. The movement had become a machine.

    Looking back, it is beyond me that I stayed in Calvary Chapel. Having become a Calvary Chapel pastor, I saw more indication that this machine was only interested in serving the status quo. While Chuck was greatly appreciated in the 70’s (he was also greatly criticized), he had become the center piece of the movement, where every idea and theological thought was brought into subjection to his personal theology.
    Somewhere the Jesus Movement died in Calvary Chapel, and it was replaced with the Chuck Movement. The recent split is only an outward manifestation of what has been brewing below the surface for years.

    Duane, I mourned this a long time ago. And then I got angry, and then I became ambivalent and emotionally detached from issues that needed to be addressed. Perhaps that is my contribution to the dysfunction and where I have been complicit.

    Brian has given us who have minds to think the freedom to walk in a renewed awareness.For that Brian, I am grateful. And I hope that I will not squander this opportunity and be lulled into a sense of complicity again.

    He who has an ear let him hear…….

  25. Steve Wright says:

    Duane, your article was excellent.

  26. Steve says:

    Souls saved is a great thing! The problem is this is impossible to quantify or qualify. Even if we look at the numbers from a Greg Laurie Harvest crusade, can we really know for sure even with a huge margin of error how much good they have done? All I know is Jesus saves and he uses the church somehow and even uses those outside his church to accomplish his will but other than that, I’m very leery to call anything in the United States the last 100 years or so a revival. I think a bunch more generations need to pass before this one can ever be assessed properly if the Lord doesn’t come back before then.

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    #25 Thank you Steve…

    #24 PstrMike – Wow! Really appreciate the comments and the story. It makes writing something like this worthwhile…

  28. Jess Jessup says:

    Good thoughts. I have this on the back of my church business card:
    “Nearly a century ago, a French sociologist wrote that every institution’s first goal is to survive and grow, not to undertake the mission it has nominally staked out for itself.”
    –John Taylor Gotto in Dumbing Us Down

  29. John 20:29 says:

    “I believe the Holy Spirit is always moving…” amen
    interesting thread this a.m. – you’ve got me speculating on the times and seasons…

    #28 is spot one, tho… secular or spiritual, wherever there is success or a visible movement, the greedy and ambitious quickly gather to exploit it… i think that they are often congratulating themselves that they are the irreplaceable lynch-pins that keep things going…

    IMNSHO

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    #28
    Welcome Jess! I’ll have to watch out now… you knew me when…

  31. Michael says:

    Just posted a statement from Dave Rolph that fits hand in glove with this article…

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    Geez. That’s more like hand in boxing glove…

  33. Michael says:

    Sometimes the truth is hard…

  34. Steve Wright says:

    Dave’s article is spot on and I amen every word.

  35. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll tell you, Dave is someone I’ve always respected. If that’s what he’s saying…man.

  36. Duane Arnold says:

    “Let’s never lose our radical spirit.”

    Yes, yes and yes…

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    When I first encountered CC they lauded Pastor Chuck for his love of the hippies and his comment about changing the carpet rather than making them wear shoes. The same pastor that told me that story oversees a church where;
    1 – When you leave the auditorium you cannot re-enter
    2 – Worshipers were finally publicly discouraged from standing and or lifting their hands
    3 – An age requirement is set upon who can be in the auditorium
    4 – Experience of the Spirit being received by laying on of hands was codified in the original beliefs but not practiced and ultimately removed
    5 – Public experience of the Spirit was relegated to afterglows and then to afterthought

    Lonnie Frisbee was the revivalist that fueled whatever movement CC received. Without him it
    is unlikely to have occurred. Movements are messy events. Institutions require SOPs for every action.

    I really love Xenia and her presence here but her judgments are as extreme as ODMs when it gets down to it. However, her spirit is much more benevolent.

    Dr Arnold has given us a shorthand lesson on a process called the ‘routinization of charisma’ it sounds religious but is actually a category given to us by the social sciences. In brief it means that a ‘charismatic’ figure arises and foments a movement. Around that person all kinds of cottage industries form. Those are staffed by lesser luminaries who do not carry the genius or ‘anointing’ of the founder. Industries care about survival not about the fire that birthed them. Thus death ensues, slow death. CC has been in that process for at least a generation probably since the early 80s. This latest step simply highlights the reality.

  38. Michael says:

    BD…good stuff.

    Duane…someday I hope you write for us on Frisbee’s role and the role of the the mystic or shaman type figures in Christendom.

    So grateful for your contributions…

  39. Michael says:

    I’m going to ignore the fact that the less I write,the better the blog becomes… 🙂

  40. Duane Arnold says:

    #38

    Michael,

    The really good ones are also pretty flawed. I can think of Lonnie or someone I knew a bit more well, Larry Norman. I sometimes think that it is part of God’s sense of humor that he sends us people like that. When I wrote a book about Francis of Assisi, I pointed out that he was wonderful to write about, but I probably would not have wanted him in my congregation… too eccentric, too radical.

    AND

    #39 NONSENSE! So grateful to be a part of what you have created.

  41. Linnea says:

    Duane…great article and analysis.

    Your most important thought?

    “Finally, let us pray that another movement of the Holy Spirit will take place among us once again and lead us to places and work yet unknown in our own day and time.”

    I missed the Jesus movement, but found salvation ten years later. Those of you who came to know Christ through that time can offer support to the newer generations. I can’t wait to see what God does next 🙂

  42. Judy Gregerson says:

    I was a convert of the Jesus Movement on the East Coast. I knew nothing of Chuck or CC, only what God was doing where I was. There were a lot of Catholics who were brought into a relationship of God as a result of this revival on the East Coast. The area I grew up in, which had no “alive” church that I knew of when I was a kid, became alive with many Christians. I worshipped at Love Inn in Ithaca (the only Christian commune I knew about in Upstate New York) and listened to Christian radio with Scott Ross. And quite frankly, it was very, very powerful stuff at the time. The move of the spirit seemed very powerful then. I was literally saved from a life that was going to take me to an early grave (I was 19 and probably wouldn’t have gotten through many more years) so I am so thankful for the neat stuff that God did.

    At the time, that’s what God gave us. He saved us, he cleaned up addicts, drunks, crooks, losers, and regular people. We saw deliverances that we see so few of today.

    I’m thankful. I don’t really care what affect it had on the organized church. I had to learn to think. I had to get my mind renewed. I had to come to understand in some small way who God was and how He related to me. And I had to learn that He is often very different from His people and His church and learn to deal with that disconnect. I moved into the charismatic and Pentecostal realm as so many other groups didn’t go with the gifts. And having seen them at work, I knew they were real.

    We are flesh. And in so many ways, we are so messed up. God seems to be able to work with this. Times have changed now and I do believe God will move again because we have another lost generation and while the church may not be able to reach them, God can. The Jesus Movement was a story of God reaching a generation of kids that most people found despicable, in some way. God did not abandon that generation and He will not abandon this one which is equally lost. I’m not sure how He’s going to do it, but I believe He will.

  43. Babylon's Dread says:

    Beautiful Judy

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    Judy and Linnea

    The Dove is still coming down… it’s not headed the other direction…

  45. pstrmike says:

    @44
    True. Today the work of the Spirit is not always as open or broadcasted in such a way that it becomes fodder for social media. For me, if it becomes a social media event, I wonder where the real substance of power is. I saw the work of the Spirit several times this past weekend, much of it through simple acts of kindness directed toward individuals. It is the cup of cold water given to the least of these in Jesus name that most honors the Lord, and is that which is the work of the Spirit.

  46. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes, if you want revival you will have to follow a much messier path than CC is on. Revival’s actually birth groups they seldom revive groups. Usually the new revival is persecuted by the old one. CC certainly has that history. Anyone who thinks the Jesus People movement was a thing of beauty need only ask why the hippies cut their hair and got suits.

    Revivals whether in Edwards day, or Finney’s, or Azusa, or the 60s send people screaming to the publishing houses to condemn the mess. Edwards had to defend what God was doing, Finney is still damned by the Calvinists for his new measures, the Cain Ridge crowd fomented fundamentalists and extremists, Azusa was condemned on both economic grounds and racial though it was all neatly covered in theological fervor and God forbid that we talk Frisbee to Wimber to Arnott …

    Water runs to the lowest place. Those vested in their dignity can forget it.

  47. Judy Gregerson says:

    BD: God likes the messy stuff. He will continue to do what He does, no matter what established groups want, think or do. He works outside their walls.

  48. pstrmike says:

    not all that glitters is gold

    messy does not always equal revival………..

    Frisbee was a bright light that burned out fast……..

    others from that period have continued burning for decades. some like Frisbee, burned out long ago….

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    pstmike

    Fair response but the gold from his work has not perished.

  50. pstrmike says:

    @49.
    Absolutely, yet it seems like the glory has a tendency to fade, and hence we need a veil. If you read my @24, you might imagine the shock when I first realized the Calvary Chapel I had returned to.

    It is strange how God moves. Vineyard had a special anointing in the 90’s for worship music. For years, that seemed to be missing in the church. Today, (and it pains me some to recognize this) that gifting in worship music seems to have surfaced with Bethel Music (not Jesus Culture, but the group in Redding). Not a group that I would hold much with theologically, but there is something of real substance to their music.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I’ve said this before, and I am sure all snickered – but I have a problem with the whole concept of ‘revival’. To me it just highlights that the Holy Spirit must be asleep at the wheel for the 100 years between revivals.
    What was the Holy Spirit doing between Azusa and the Jesus Movement? Snow skiing in Switzerland?

    And another thing – what good is a revival if it has only a 1 generation warranty. How can we have had such an impact filled revival one generation ago and now as Judy said above – we are looking at a lost generation.

    However, when I was a Baptist we were polite to the Holy Spirit and we scheduled our revivals each year. 😉

  52. Babylon's Dread says:

    I would say the Reformation was a Holy Spirit event, was experiential, was a mess, was a revival of some buried ideas…

  53. John 20:29 says:

    it is interesting to see how all of us try to define and anticipate the Holy Spirit’s path (i don’t think He dive bombs us like that dove logo … well mebbe … dunno)

    the one thing i know about the Holy Spirit (well… other than He is a comforter sent by Jesus Christ to facilitate God’s plan between the first and second Advents) is that Jesus said that He travels about like the wind… isn’t it strange how sometimes there is none and other times roofs are coming off of buildings? someone asked, “who can harness the wind?”

  54. Xenia says:

    I really love Xenia and her presence here but her judgments are as extreme as ODMs when it gets down to it. <<<<

    Thank you for saying this, BD. Sometimes I am afraid that I am too compromising here on the PhxP.

  55. Duane Arnold says:

    #45

    PstrMike – Yes, the simple acts are the work of the Holy Spirit as well… and we continue to see that work.

    As has been said, “The past is a foreign country”. Back in the day, much was glorious and much was a mess. Yet there can be no denying, at least on my part, that something extraordinary took place. It was, I believe, the work of the Holy Spirit in which we were both participants and observers. Maybe, with our innocence and lack of formal training, we were just willing to “let it happen”. Theologically I probably agree with MLD –
    “What was the Holy Spirit doing between Azusa and the Jesus Movement? Snow skiing in Switzerland?” Experientially, however, I know that there are times and seasons of the Holy Spirit’s work… I wonder if we will see such a time again in our lifetime?

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So that my position is clear, I believe that the Holy Spirit is working at all times and probably at the same ‘power’ level and all of the work he wants done gets done.

    But what of the Jesus Movement? Was it so different? At the same time, that same generation was on the move – some of us were long haired anti war protesters (unique in our country’s history – and included myself)
    Some were long haired hippies all into drug, sex and rock and roll – the summer of love etc (not me) and some were long haired Jesus freaks – who believe it or not, were not well accepted by us anti war freaks.

    So, perhaps the Holy Spirit was moving ‘long hairs’ of the day to any kind of action.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    Forget the Jesus movement then, MLD, are you arguing that the Great Awakening was just business as usual…

  58. Steve, yes – for the Holy Spirit business as usual.
    The difference is with men who decide to take their own dicipleship seriously and disciple others.

  59. Josh the Baptist says:

    I probably agree with that. The difference is the human response, more so than what God is doing.

    Maybe so.

  60. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, was God then doing anything differently in the ministry of Elijah and Elisha than He had been doing in the years prior (or years afterwards)….

    Was God speaking to Abraham every day and we just have a couple recorded examples for us, or in fact did God wait 13 years as Gen 16:16-17:1 tells us.

    I think we are on some pretty solid Biblical ground throughout the ages to note that while often life is business as usual, with God always “working”, there are times of explosion on the scene as well.

  61. Duane Arnold says:

    I follow the argument, but if it is about us… our decision or act of will, for that is what is involved in a decision, does it impinge on the sovereignty of God? That would seem to be the logical consequence if I remember The Bondage of the Will correctly.

    Additionally, and here I can only speak from experience, how is it that a movement like this breaks out in distant locations involving differing people who have never even heard of each other… That was true of the 60s and 70s and, from what I have read, it was also true of the First and Second Great Awakenings…

    I think there is something more involved here than a decision on our part concerning discipleship…

  62. Judy Gregerson says:

    God does what He wants. He uses whomever He chooses. If he can awaken thousands of Muslims in the Mid East through dreams (which they take very seriously), He can do anything. We can hold up in our buildings and defend our traditions, but God keeps working.

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, interesting you go back to the OT when God spoke directly to the prophets and drag it into modern day activities.

    Some folks here base the movement of God on personal experiences – I depend on the scriptures.

  64. Steve Wright says:

    I did not go back to the prophets per se…I went back to the miracles which were for a short season…

  65. Steve Wright says:

    I’m with you Duane.

    Maybe MLD is just mad because the Lutherans had so little involvement in these revivals. 😉

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – again, I say the Holy Spirit is involved – always. I am one who refutes decision theology of the unbeliever, but I do believe that we do make theological / spiritual decisions after that.

    Look, as I said above, the hippie movement / summer of love spread to all different parts among people and groups who did not know each other – how did that happen.

    I just have trouble with the idea that the holy spirit allows people to rot in their unbelief of uneventful belief and in the next generation he decides to move them — only to have it die out by the next generation because of no ‘special’ move.

    When people live out their faith – then revival may break out and one person’s faith and excitement touches the next – but I don’t know that it starts in a vacuum.

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, we Lutherans have revival each and every week in the absolution and the sacrament of the altar.
    Seriously – what more could you ask for? Should I pray that ‘revival’ falls on your church? I will.Or, I could suggest you just follow our pattern.

  68. Duane Arnold says:

    #66 MLD – A couple of points – While Luther allowed for a “freedom of will” in business, civic duties etc., I believe that he set aside spiritual matters as a category that could only be activated by the Holy Spirit – hence, bondage of the will and the sovereignty of God.

    Secondly, it is hard to know specifically how culture and/or media promote the spread of, for instance, the summer of love, but we know that both were a big part of it. In the Jesus Movement (and I can say this from experience) things were happening everywhere with people not knowing each other. The media did not pick up on it for a long time and, even then, they tended to attribute what was happening to people like Billy Graham and Pat Boone. What happened is, in my mind, unexplainable apart from the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit that was unique to a certain season. Can’t really explain it apart from that.

  69. Jean says:

    Jesus makes a whole bunch of promises: ask and it will be given to you…; I am with you to the end of the age; make disciples…; I will send the comforter….

    Does the Bible indicate that Father, Son or Holy Spirit will do more or less for one generation vs. another, or is there a new covenant and the Gospel that goes with it, which is valid throughout these end times?

    It seems to me that God’s Word is just as powerful as it ever has been, that His promises are just as valid as they ever have been, and that His love for sinners is just as true as it ever has been.

  70. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, to the 2nd half of your 2nd paragraph of #68;
    Is that not the Holy Spirit drawing people to himself? Has he not always done that?

  71. Duane Arnold says:

    #70
    MLD,

    Yes, but looking at history, there do seem to be “times and seasons” according to God’s own purposes…

  72. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, why pray revival fall on our church? You can pray it fall on our city. Definitely. Statements like yours make it seem once more like you are challenging something against the common definition understood by the majority of Christians who discuss such things…as “revival”

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    So are you going to pray that the Holy Spirit stop doing what he is doing and do something else — revival?

    This is what I am saying, if you have the thought (or that the holy spirit has given you the thought) for the need of revival in your town, go out and do it – the spirit has empowered you to do such.

    And yes I do challenge somethings that I feel that the majority of Christians do by common definitions and just follow along. As I said yesterday, when I was a Baptist we would schedule our revivals one week each year. I object to that common understanding and many others.

    But I would suggest you look at Jean’s comment #69 and address that.

  74. John 20:29 says:

    trying to follow the logic here… i may not be reading correctly, but since when does the Holy Spirit take directions from us?

    He moves according to the Father’s will and, yes, there are times when it seems that God moves and other times when He holds back … waiting … like the wind?

    that doesn’t mean we, who know Christ, shouldn’t watch and pray … pray like a bunch of squeaky wheels 🙂

  75. Michael says:

    I find arguing about this odd.
    History shows there are times when the Holy Spirit moves in an unusual way that brings in a harvest.
    That doesn’t mean He isn’t working at other times as well…it means that we have a historical witness to times of a more notable manifestation of His presence.

  76. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I think you made a good point that there seems like there are times when God moves and times when he does not – but that is us and it is based entirely on our experiences.

    However, I make the case that God is always moving – whether we are sharp enough to experience it or not.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “it means that we have a historical witness to times of a more notable manifestation of His presence.”

    Like Toronto – Brownsville – I forget where Todd Bentley was – was it Lakeland?. Are those the manifestations you use to judge the moving of the spirit? (personally I think those were phony)

    Also, are revivals just local? When AZUSA St. happened was that just for the San Gabriel Valley here in SoCal?

  78. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think we have to look at these things from a historical point and see if the fruit was good and if the fruit remained.

    For me, there is little doubt that the Jesus Movement was a revival, as was the First Great Awakening…and frankly, the Reformation itself.

  79. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    For those of us who only love baseball and no other sport – it is either baseball season or “the void.” Right now we are in “The Void”

    Does that sum up the Church between revivals?

  80. Duane Arnold says:

    If we go back to the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, as the disciples questioned our Lord on the coming of the kingdom, they were told, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

    Why did Hus and Wycliffe fail, but Luther prevailed? The Wesleys set in motion a worldwide movement, but Whitefield – a better preacher, by the way – did not. I have to say, it is in the hands of God to do as he wishes.

    Returning to the theme of the post, in the 60s there were many pastors as able, or more able, than Chuck Smith – but it was at CCCM that something exploded.

    Maybe it’s better not to know all the answers, but still acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit when we see it…

  81. Michael says:

    “Maybe it’s better not to know all the answers, but still acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit when we see it…”

    Exactly…

  82. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why would you consider that Hus and Wycliffe failed? This is interesting – it is like saying a star basketball player who fouls out in the first half of the championship game failed while his teammates prevailed.

    The likes of Hus and Wycliffe were the building stones that Luther stood on.

    I too say it is in the hands of God – I just don’t see that he calls timeout for 100 years. (not bad for a guy who hates basketball) 😉

  83. pstrmike says:

    “Maybe it’s better not to know all the answers, but still acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit when we see it…’

    I am learning that these are things that we cannot hold on to very tightly. I was a hardcore complimentarian until I went to a conference where a woman spoke and she brought heaven to earth. It challenged my previous ideas that I held to quite convincingly. The wind blows where it wills…

  84. Steve Wright says:

    It does seem people challenge the statement with a bunch of other things nobody is saying. Like if I said Alabama dominates college football these years and someone imagines I am saying they didn’t play football in the past, or they didn’t win when they did play, or the school cancelled the program and reinstated it….

    Odd.

  85. imthebeggar says:

    Wait, “What had started in first century Judea as a loosely knit group of disciples and preachers had, by the end of that first hundred years, become recognizable organized communities with a system of pastoral oversight.”

    This isn’t my understanding of what Scripture teaches nor church history. Right from the beginning they were a tight nit group that was organized around 1 clear true teaching of the Bible, and there were instantly leaders, councils, and meetings hashing out false teaching from true teaching.

    Off the top of my head: Paul went to the “Pillars” in Jerusalem to verify his Gospel was correct. The church in Jerusalem sent missionaries and instructed them on correct doctrine. All the letters of the NT address true doctrine and false doctrine, with sometimes the throwing out of false teachers publically. Paul opposed Peter on doctrinal practice and understanding of the Gospel. Jesus commanded the disciples to be His faithful witnesses, to be united like He is with the Father, and to teach others everything He commanded them, to bring them into the church through baptism, and discipline them as Children of God.

    Paul planted churches that A) had to submit to the true teaching of Scripture as he first taught them, and B) had to submit to elders both in their church, but elders like him and in Jerusalem who were their spiritual parents. Churches and thus pastors were not loosely associated, but as close as they could be considering how fast people could travel and news could spread.

    Paul had letters written to one church sent to another, expecting them both to submit to them under his authority as an apostle, but even his authority was in submission to what the other apostles taught.

    No, I think that Scripture and church history teaches us a very serious consideration of doctrine and practice right from the beginning, and a clear creating of structures of accountability and authority. I think the Reformers got this concept the most correct, while Catholicism does not. Peter nor Paul were popes.

  86. John Donne says:

    Great discussion, I have a question for Steve Wright since he is currently self identified as a CC pastor, and that is; why is Lonnie Freesbe who obviously when one goes deeper and investigated beyond the surface and official CC PR, who was possibly the main catalyst and instrument God used in the creation of CC and its launching, why is his imprint and contribution scrubbed clean from official CC records and no mention is ever made of this unassuming and flawed young man that God used to start CC?

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