Control Freaks!

Today I spent my entire morning at the Bi-State Preacher’s Conference.  Now I know that doesn’t sound too exciting to most of you out there caught in the web, but this one really was.  Normally something inside of me rejects the idea that I have to go. (Yes have to)  You know it’s kind of an authority issue with me.  I don’t want to be told to do something.  That’s because like most of us, I want control!

This conference was different.  It feature Dr. Gordon Anderson.  He is president of North Central Bible College (maybe that’s University now).  Anyway, what he had to say hit home on so many different levels, that I thought I ould share some of it with you.

He started out by giving a brief history of the Assembly of God movement. (Yawn!)  But it was kind of interesting to see how things have progressed (or maybe digressed) over the years.  He divided it up into four distinct Periods. 

The first one was the “Primitive Period”  from the AG’s inception until about 1942.  This period was very emotionally driven, about revival and spiritual hoopla, apocolyptic preaching that scared the “hell” out of you (literally), Holy Spirit Power, Tongues.  The whole nine yards. (interestingly in this period there were 7000 church plants)

The second period was the Evangelical Period where things got organized, doctrinal statements became more solid, there was more concern and push to be accepted etc.

Then the Charismatic Period, where the focus became the church and worship superceded preaching.  Everything started to become inwardly focused, Brownsville Revival hit the papers (which incidentally didn’t change much of anything on a longterm basis)  The focus was on the church… US!

Then comes the Post-Modern Period.  (That’s where we are now).  This period is all about ME. (and you, but to you, you is “me”. Think about that one for a while.)  And ME wants control!  This is an age of ipods, T’vo, pocket pc’s, text messaging.  We control what we see , hear, respond to, when we respond, who we ignore.  I can control my world.  Program it to suit me.  And that has creeped into religion as well.  There are niche’ churches, designed to suit me.  My music, My style, My message, My choice.

Now that’s not all bad.  I want a church that stands on the Rock, worship with Rock music, has a rockin atmosphere with a cafe’ that serves my favorite coffee, and friends that look like, talk like and act like me.  That can be leveraged for good.  But there is a downside.

Isn’t church supposed to be about WE and not ME.  The whole control issue was what got us into this mess in the first place.  God said don’t eat the fruit, the serpent questioned God’s authority, Eve wanted to decide for herself, and “CHOMP”  the rest is history.  The real issue is that they (Adam and Eve) wanted to be God.  They wanted control, they wanted to call the shots, they wanted to decide for themselves what was good, bad, right, wrong, etc.

And so we come to us.  And we want control, we want to be God of our lives, master of our domain as it were.  WE WANT CONTROL!

But the Christian life is about surrender.  Ironically in the act of surrender to God, our lives become more balanced and we feel more in control.

Face it….we are all control freaks, but wouldn’t it feel good to let God have the remote and just enjoy.

Think about it!

Philippians 3:20-21

 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

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~ by pastormikeadams on May 7, 2008.

One Response to “Control Freaks!”

  1. Brilliant!

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