The Stronghold of Spiritual Eccentricity (#propheticresistance)

[Listen to post here.]

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“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Revelation 19:10

Behind, in, and through all that God is saying, revealing, and doing is the comprehensive, incomprehensible, “testimony of Jesus.”  The Father’s heart is radically centered in His Son, and He has ordained “… that in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)  Consequently, the “spiritual DNA” that penetrates, permeates, prescribes, powers, and propagates all of creation, both seen and unseen, throughout time and eternity, is the centrality and supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ!  All the fullnesses of both the old and new creations are inherently Christocentric in nature and expression.  Governing all, the mystery of the Father’s will is relentlessly working to “…bring back to and gather ’round the main point all things.” (Marvin Vincent’s literal translation of Ephesians 1:10b)  That “main point” is “Christ.” (vs. 10)

In light of this, the calling of the Ekklesia is to be God’s instrument to declare and display forth to all of creation the unrivaled centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things through its own embodiment of His preeminence and sovereignty in every aspect of its being, vocation, and testimony.  Such is our high calling according to God’s eternal desire and design concerning His Beloved Son.  (See Ephesians 3:10-11.)

Prophetic Christocentricity

In keeping with the eternal purpose and passion of God, the Holy Spirit and prophetic Scriptures are, likewise, radically Christ-centered.  All prophetic ministry that flows out of and is in accordance with these, therefore, is inherently and essentially Christocentric in nature.  The divine purpose of such ministry is not only to reveal the Father’s wisdom, will, ways, and works, but also to call all that has departed and deviated from God’s ultimate intention concerning His Son back to the universal centrality and supremacy of Christ in all things.  In its purest essence, the vision, burden, and focus of prophetic ministry is the restoration of all things back into and unto Christ, the Main Point, that He may become “all, and in all” (Col. 3:11) throughout all of eternity!  This is the end toward which genuine prophetic ministry is pointing and pressing.

Spiritual Eccentricity

That being said, the greatest obstacle and opposition to prophetic ministry is that which can rightly be called, “spiritual eccentricity”, i.e. that which is spiritually out-of-center ( “ec-” = “out of” and “centricity” = root: “center”.)  With the entrance of sin into God’s creation through the self-exalting spirit of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14), the unrivaled centrality and supremacy of the Son of God was challenged and partially disrupted.  Rival centrality and supremacy was introduced, spread to one third of the angels, and, through the seduction of Adam and Eve, was passed on and permeated all of humanity.  All that now stands in rebellion and resistance to God, therefore, has at its root the principle of “spiritual eccentricity.”  This principle underlies and, therefore, defines the ultimate clash between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.  This, subsequently, underlies and defines the primary mission and battle line of prophetic ministry!

Prophetic Christocentricity vs. Spiritual Eccentricity
(Illustrated)

To more fully perceive this entire battlefield and its essential, underlying principle, the battle for centrality and supremacy, I’d like to offer an illustration that should help to bring these things into very clear focus.

(Note: What I am about to describe is one of the most important revelations/insights from the Lord that I have to share on this blog, so please stay with me in this slightly extended post! Thanks! 😉 )

Please picture for a moment, a large white circle surrounded by a dark gray background.  This white circle has one central, preeminent point, which is its centerpoint.  Now picture this circle being filled with numerous other points.  These points all orient to the center and so they can be further illustrated by their being turned into small vectors all pointing toward the centerpoint.

This picture is now a symbolic representation of what we shall identify as “the fullness of God.”  As such, it represents four spiritual attributes:

  1. Unity – There is only one, unified circle with one indisputable, unrivaled centerpoint.
  2. Fullness – The circle is filled with numerous other points representing all of the particulars that fill its contents.
  3. Balance – All of the points are oriented toward the centerpoint, represented by the points becoming vectors, and are “weighted” properly according to their distance from the center, representing in totality a properly oriented and balanced system.
  4. Purity – There is nothing of the surrounding darkness that exists within the circle.  It exists in a state of purity.

If we further identify the centerpoint of this circle as Christ Himself, this diagram serves as a depiction of a “Christocentric spiritual system”…i.e. the Kingdom of Light/the Kingdom of God.  As we have said, the essential attributes of such a system are spiritual unity, fullness, balance, and purity. 

Before moving on to the next development of this diagram, we need to highlight the unique significance of these four attributes.  According to Ephesians 4:11-15, these four attributes can be seen as characteristics of the end goal toward which the “five-fold ministry gifts” (including prophetic ministry) are pointing and pressing:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to…

1. unity

“…the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

2. fullness

“…to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;

3. balance

“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

4. purity

“…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–“

As we consider these verses alongside the diagram, we can see exactly how these four attributes come to increasingly characterize the spiritual condition of God’s people when Christ Himself occupies the undisputed, unrivaled place of centrality and supremacy in all things related to the fullness of God!

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Continuing on with the further development of our diagram, let us now picture just one of those dots/vectors within the circle taking on a greater significance than it ought to, and instead of pointing to the centerpoint, it points to itself, loses its vector, and begins to rival the centerpoint as to its significance, centrality, and preeminence.  If this point becomes adopted by some of God’s people as a new spiritual centerpoint, taking on greater significance and focus than Christ Himself, the natural result is that a new circle will form around it that is shifted over from the original circle and becomes something of a rival to it, center to circumference.

With this new development, we have the introduction of a new condition we can rightly call “spiritual eccentricity.”  The center of this new circle is “out-of-center” from the original and its circumference is no longer concentric with the former one.

When this happens, four new attributes are introduced into the diagram as a matter of course:

  1. Disunity – There is no longer one circle with one undisputed, unrivaled centerpoint, but two circles with two rival centers.
  2. Diminishment – The second circle has moved over and part of the original circle (i.e. the fullness of God) is now left out, indicating spiritual diminishment.
  3. Distortion – All of the vectors within the second circle twist to orient to a new center and so become distorted from their original orientation.  Their proximity to the original center (indicating “weightedness”) also changes bringing in further distortion from their original state. Everything is now torqued and out of balance from the original.
  4. Defilement – The second circle, having shifted over, now also incorporates into it aspects of the darkness that exists outside of the original circle, thus defiling it.

“Spiritual eccentricity” comes into existence, therefore, whenever something or someone takes on greater significance, centrality, and preeminence, than God’s ordained center, Jesus Christ.  When some aspect, even of the holy things of God, becomes more primary than Christ Himself, a new “center” is formed and a new “circle” comes into existence, shifting over from the original and ushering in the four attributes of “spiritual eccentricity”: disunity, diminishment, distortion, and defilement.  (This is tantamount to a spiritual law and is what explains, at the most fundamental and formative level, the vast prevalence of division, deadness, deception, worldliness, and carnality in the Church throughout Christendom to this day.)

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Lastly, whenever such spiritual eccentricity comes into existence within God’s people, it begins to take on personal and corporate shape and form.  The more developed, advanced, and established these become, the more impervious and incorrigible they become to prophetic correction and re-centering.  Any attempts to re-align any one aspect of a “spiritually eccentric system” with the values and orientations of a “Christocentric system” are met with unexpected resistance and resilience.  This is because each aspect is so enmeshed in the entire eccentric system that it requires either a re-centering of the entire system itself or an irreparable rending of it, both of which are much more costly and consequential than most are willing to consider or pay the price for.  The “conformative matrix” of the eccentric spiritual system is simply too intertwined and unyielding to allow for radical re-centering and its resultant re-formation.

Thus, whenever prophetic Christocentricity clashes with spiritual eccentricity, whatever prophetic influence may be exerted to initiate change is often resisted and rejected.  The Christ-centered prophetic instrument is further deemed to be the “eccentric” one, and the seeker of true unity in Christ alone is deemed to be the “heretic.”  Such is the nature of the prophetic battle for the fullness of God and for the deliverance of Christ’s bride from all that divides, diminishes, distorts, and defiles her.

May we discern the true nature of this battle and pay whatever price it takes to fully align ourselves, individually and collectively, with God’s Christocentric spiritual system, the Kingdom of Light/the Kingdom of God!  There is no more costly nor consequential war that is being waged!


For the follow-up post to this one, please see: “Christocentricity/Eccentricity Spiritual Theory” – Explained and Illustrated (with animated short)

Previous posts in this collection:
Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)
Prophetic Imbalance and… (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Pragmatism (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Traditionalism (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of “Toxic Positivity” (#propheticresistance)

Related:
Centrality and Eccentricity
When God Does a New Thing – Pt. 5: Orientation

Posted in Christ-Centered Restoration, Christ-Centered Spirituality, Christ-Centered Unity, prophetic ministry, Spiritual Dynamics, Spiritual Eccentricity, Spiritual Warfare, The Ekklesia, The Eternal Purpose of God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Stronghold of “Toxic Positivity” (#propheticresistance)

[Listen to post here.]

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It has been said, “The difference between medicine and poison is in the dose.”  Solomon similarly wrote ages ago, Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!” (Proverbs 25:16 NLT)  When it comes to spiritual matters, these proverbs have application as well.

Prophetic ministry is neither pure optimism nor pure pessimism, but pure realism.  It doesn’t see the cup half full, nor half empty, but both half full and half empty at the same time (…and also where the bottle is to fill the glass up the rest of the way!)  If we are to have a holistic, complete, and balanced view of God, we must have an equally weighted view of both His “positive” as well as what we might deem His “negative” aspects.  Paul said, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God.” (Romans 11:22 NIV)  Prophetic ministry considers and communicates both, in their proper time and place.

An example of this can be seen in the book of Revelation which opens up with the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos receiving an open vision of the resurrected, glorified Christ.  When John turns to see the voice behind him speaking as a trumpet, he sees an epiphany of the glorified Son of God that is so terrifying in holy appearance that he falls as a dead man at his feet.  In his vision, the resurrected Christ is seen standing in the midst of seven golden lampstands which represent the seven churches of Asia Minor.

Jesus then tells John to write down specific prophetic messages for each of the seven churches.  Of these seven “letters”, two (Smyrna and Philadelphia) are filled solely with positive praise and encouragement, one (Laodicea) is filled solely with negative reproof and correction (except for the promise given at the end to the overcomer), and the remaining four (Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Sardis) are filled with a mixture of both positive praise/encouragement and negative reproof/correction.

Only two out of the seven, therefore, had a purely positive word from the Lord.  The one church that only had positive words to say about itself (i.e. “I…have need of nothing.”), Jesus had nothing but purely negative words to say to it.  The remaining four had a balanced mixture of “cup-half-full”/”cup-half-empty”, positive and negative words from the Lord.  All of this should inform us concerning the “realistic” nature and spiritual balance of prophetic ministry.

“Toxic Positivity”

There is a phrase that is found in our culture today, especially in relation to how people  deal with personal emotions.  That phrase is “toxic positivity.”  Its popular usage relates to the unhealthy focus on strict mental and emotional positivity in the midst of tragic or difficult situations, to the denial of all negative thinking and/or emotions.  It can also be used to describe the refusal to acknowledge negative aspects of oneself or one’s situation by remaining solely positive in regard to them.  In this respect, one clinical psychologist wrote, “Taken to an extreme, positivity becomes toxic and deprives us of the motivation to make healthy changes that the awareness of a negative, uncomfortable reality would otherwise stimulate us to make.” (Psychology Today)  It is this second aspect that can especially become “spiritually toxic”, both for individual believers and assemblies of God’s people if engaged in.

“Religious Toxic Positivity”

Toxic positivity sometimes takes on a religious form and often this is rooted in an imbalanced view of God Himself.  When the more attractive and “positive” attributes of God, such as His kindness, mercy, patience, and love are alone what defines one’s perception of God, and the more stern and seemingly “negative” attributes of God, such as His anger, wrath, severity, and judgment, are excluded, it is possible to develop a God-focused form of toxic positivity.

Such a view of God tends to make one unconcerned about the treacherous nature of their indwelling sin and corruption.  Such a person is apt to then “think of [themselves] more highly than [they] ought” (Romans 12:3) before God and become impervious to the reality of their own moral and spiritual failings.  They can become like those whom David described in Psalm 36:2, “In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.”  Such personal positivity, however, is spiritually toxic, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)

True self-perception is found when one faces the negativity of one’s own fallen nature, acknowledges it and turns to God in confession, repentance, and humble trust in the mercy and grace of God.  Then, and only then, does one find the forgiveness, cleansing, acceptance, and righteousness that come from God alone.  Then, and only then, can one find their true worth, purpose, and God-given self as one created in the image of God, redeemed and infinitely loved.  A deep realization of the positive only comes after a deep realization of the negative.  This is the basis of balanced, healthy spirituality.

This “religious toxic positivity” can take on a collective dimension as well.  We have an example of this in the church of Laodicea.  Their unified confession was, “‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ (Revelation 3:17 NLT)  Theirs was a purely positive self-concept and yet they had no awareness of their true spiritual condition: Jesus said, “But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (vs. 17)  Here is collective toxic positivity on display!

This condition is prevalent in the Church today as well.  When religious institutions embody deep concern for their corporate and ministerial success, image, respectability, reputation, growth, and prosperity, hyper-focus upon the positive aspects of the organization and ministry is of highest importance.  A spirit of corporate self-aggrandizement and sectarian pride/allegiance is fostered in order to increase attraction, adherence, and cohesion.

This spirit often spills over into the content and focus of the spiritual ministry offered as well.  Because the positive elements of God and His Word are more attractive and less offensive than the so-called “negative” ones, an imbalanced, positive-only, somewhat “saccharine” view of God and His Word may consistently be presented.  Often the driving force behind this is a “man-pleasing”, “entrepreneurial” spirit that seeks to attract more attendees and/or “not offend the visitors” merely for the sake of corporate promotion and propagation.

This condition can be further exacerbated when an imbalanced and excessive “culture of honor” is nurtured that sets leadership on a high pedestal as those esteemed as nearly infallible, untouchable, and unquestionable.  Such a spirit can have a facade of spirituality, but, in fact, it is a fertile breeding ground for collective toxic positivity.

The Spiritual Antitoxin

Seeing how prevalent and pervasive this stronghold can be, what, then, is its remedy?  If excessive religious positivity can indeed be toxic, what is its spiritual antitoxin?  In a phrase, the remedy is found in what could rightly be called “prophetic realism.”  Only when an individual or body of believers has prophetic revelation of their true condition, from God’s perspective, can they be delivered out of the false bubble of toxic positivity.  Only when they see what the “eyes of blazing fire” see, and perceive what the “sharp double-edged sword” is discerning; only when they feel the weight of the “feet like bronze, glowing in a furnace” falling, and are washed by the “voice like the sound of rushing waters”, will they know their true condition and find not only the grace and mercy of God, but also the balancing holiness and justice of the Lord as well.  Only “prophetic realism” will impart to God’s people a holistic, complete, and balanced view of both God and of themselves.  Such balanced realism comes through God’s prophetic Spirit, Word, and anointed vessels and where these are received, and not resisted, healthy spirituality will surely ensue.

May God deliver us from “religious toxic positivity” and all of its unexpected side-effects in our lives and within His Body.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22)


Previous posts in this collection (#propheticresistance):
Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)
Prophetic Imbalance and…(#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Pragmatism (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Traditionalism (#propheticresistance)

Next post in this collection:
The Stronghold of Spiritual Eccentricity (#propheticresistance)

Related:
Our Deepest Convictions
The Anointed Body of the Anointed One: Prophetic Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)

Posted in Audio Posts, prophetic ministry, Spiritual Dynamics, spiritual growth, The Ekklesia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Stronghold of Traditionalism (#propheticresistance)

[Listen to post here.]

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Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 48:18-19

 The “fraternal twin” of pragmatism is traditionalism.  These goliath sibs are, arguably, the most firmly entrenched strongholds within the Church that present resistance to the prophetic ministry of God’s Holy Spirit, Word, and anointed vessels.

Whereas pragmatism is ultimately concerned with outcomes and, therefore, bows the knee to the god of the future, “I WILL BE”, traditionalism is ultimately concerned with what has been and, therefore, bows the knee to the god of the past, “I HAVE BEEN.”  God’s people who are in tune and in step with His Spirit and Word, however, are ultimately concerned with what God is doing now, and, therefore, bow the knee to the God of the present, the eternal “I AM.”

Traditionalism is defined as, “adherence to tradition as authority, especially in matters of religion.” (Dictionary.com)  It is the degree of authority that is ascribed to tradition, both individually and collectively, consciously and subconsciously, that presents the greatest “prophetic resistance” when the workings of God’s Spirit intersect and collide with the tradition of men.  The ultimate question in the end is, which one is LORD?

Jesus declared the nature of this collision in His dealings with the Pharisees concerning their adherence to “the tradition of men” over against “the word of God.”  In one encounter, He made the following statements:

“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men–” (Mk. 7:8)

“He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.'”  (Mk. 7:9)

“…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”   (Mk. 7:13)

Clearly “the tradition of men” have the power to “…[make] the word of God of no effect…” And anything that has that degree of power, is, without question, a force to be reckoned with!  Truly, there are very few psychological or sociological strongholds that have such a strong hold on the Church as this one!

Now, before we go further, we do need to interject one clarifying point: not all traditions are anti-biblical in nature; in fact, some are actually biblical (see 1 Cor. 11:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6).  These do not nullify the word of God, but are in accord with it and affirm its authority.  [For more on this, please see here and here.]  These are not the traditions that we are speaking of at this time, however.  Rather, we are focusing on those traditions that originate with man and by their very nature become “high thing[s] that [exalt] themselves above the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)  These constitute some of the most invasive and indomitable strongholds that exist in Christianity and the Church to this day. 

They are also some of the most well-disguised and unassuming fortresses of spiritual resistance, wearing a deceptive cloak of decency and Christian piety.  By mingled association and stolen appropriation, these human traditions assimilate the love and reverence that belong to God alone into and unto themselves as well.  In addition, because God often works and blesses His people in spite of rather than because of their intertwined presence with the true ways and works of God, people uncritically associate these traditions with God’s favor and endorsement.  Those who subsequently question and/or challenge any of these man-made conventions are, therefore, falsely deemed to be questioning and/or challenging that which is “God-given”, “God-blessed”, and “God-approved.”  This is one reason why human religious traditions, in particular, are so imbued with adoration and devotion that they are nearly impossible to rightly discern and to radically uproot.

It takes great discernment and courage, therefore, not to bow the knee to the seductively “pious” god “I HAVE BEEN” when the eternal “I AM” is speaking and doing that which is other and/or “new” in the present moment.  His “new thing” is His now” thing, and so He bids His people:Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up;…”  (Isaiah 48:18-19) 

Since, “No one can serve two masters.” (Matt.6:24), when allegiance to human tradition and obedience to God’s word collide, a choice is demanded.  We either choose to “hold the tradition of men” and thus “[lay] aside the [word] of God”, or we choose to “hold” the word of God, and thus “[lay] aside” “the tradition of men.”  Or, said another way, we either choose to “[make] the word of God of no effect through [our] tradition”, or we choose to make “our tradition” “of no effect through” “the word of God.”  There is no middle ground, and there are no other choices than these!  Whenever individually or collectively, consciously or subconsciously, we choose one or the other, the choice we make is not innocuous, but of immense spiritual consequence!

Everything that wins our love, reverence, and obedience in greater measure than our adoration and devotion to God is idolatrous in nature.  The stronghold of traditionalism, when focused on the Scripture-nullifying “tradition of men”, is one of the most insidious and intractable forces within the Church that leads to religious idolatry.  Such idolatry especially resists and rejects the prophetic ministry of the Lord as it comes through His Holy Spirit, Word, and anointed vessels.  Those who represent the “now” workings and eternal ways of “I AM”, however, will not bow the knee to the vying god of traditionalism,”I HAVE BEEN”, no matter how intimidating or alluring it may be.

This idolatrous stronghold must surely be dealt with with the same holy tenacity and divine sagacity that Jesus embodied when He was here in the days of His flesh.  Jesus Christ, who abides within us, is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) and His indwelling Spirit assumes the same posture and position toward “Christian traditionalism” today as it did toward Jewish traditionalism during His earthly days.  The question is, will we, as God’s New Covenant, new creation people, both individually and collectively, align ourselves with that same posture and position as we hold fast to the prophetic word and ways of the eternal “I AM”?  The choice remains to be seen just as to “WHOM” or to “WHAT” we will ultimately bow the knee!


For a more comprehensive look at the psychological and sociological power of tradition, as well as its place in the Church, past, present, and future, please see the series, “Tradition, Scripture, and the Church.” (PDF – 5-part series, complete)

Previous posts in this collection:
Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)
Prophetic Imbalance and… (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Pragmatism (#propheticresistance)

Next post in this collection:
The Stronghold of “Toxic Positivity” (#propheticresistance)

Related:
“The Calf Path” – by Sam Walter Foss

Posted in Audio Posts, prophetic ministry, Spiritual Dynamics, The Ekklesia | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Stronghold of Pragmatism (#propheticresistance)

[Listen to post here.]

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“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5

One of the most powerful and pervasive strongholds within the soul of man, and that which often stands in resistance and opposition to God’s truth, is a very practical mindset called pragmatism.  Pragmatism is a philosophy that is supremely concerned with consequences and outcomes. In it, the ultimate criteria for determining truth and/or moral value is the practical usefulness or favorability of a matter’s effects or results.  In this mindset, the ends either justify or vilify the means and not their own inherent verities or virtues.  In other words, pragmatism begins at the end of the process of the outworking of truth and morality and works its way backwards to arrive at subjectively-ascribed, value-based perceptions and conclusions.

Divine truth and morality, however, begin with God as the Source and according to the eternal, inherent reality and moral value of a given proposition or action, its effects progress forward to its divinely-determined ends and outcomes.  Divine reality and pragmatic reasoning, therefore, are moving in opposite directions and when they collide, it’s a veritable “train wreck!”

Prophetic ministry can be viewed in light of this as God’s “train whistle” to blast a warning of such a pending collision if spiritual, philosphical, and/or moral course correction is not made.  Because such course correction is usually deemed as inconvenient and undesirable by the pragmatist, however, such warnings and exhortations are esteemed as void of truth and/or moral value and, therefore, resisted and rejected.

Prophetic ministry can also work along positive lines as if the prophet were the conductor blowing the whistle and declaring, “A-L-L-L-L ABOARD!!!” from the train of God’s wisdom and righteousness.  If the pragmatist doesn’t find interest or value in going where that train is perceived to be heading, however, he will deem such obtrusive noise as meaningless and something to be passively dismissed or actively denounced.

In either case, God’s truth and righteousness are resisted and rejected based on their subjectively-perceived effects and results rather than on their Source, inherent values, and divinely-ordained consequences and outcomes.

Pragmatism Goes to Church

Pragmatism is not only a stronghold in the world, but also among God’s people. Whenever believers, individually or collectively, have more concern for the consequences and outcomes of God’s Word and ways being fully embraced and expressed than their Divine Source and inherent spiritual/moral values, pragmatism is surely at work.

Indeed, much if not most of the compromise, lukewarmness, worldliness, and hypocrisy found in the Church at large is simply a result of God’s people not being willing to utterly embrace God’s truth and righteousness due to the resultant cost of their practical embodiment and expression.  The consequences and outcomes of doing so are deemed to be too personally or socially offending, challenging, or undesirable.  Conversely, the attractiveness of compromising with God’s truth and righteousness because of certain perceived temporal advantages and benefits is too tempting to resist.  Thus the calculating double-mindedness of pragmatism sets in and rules the day.

This tendency seems especially strong within institutionally-based religious systems that have vested interest in their own financial stability/prosperity, social respectability, numerical growth, religious traditions, organizational structures, and/or ministerial influence and affluence.  These are the mainstays of religious institutionalism, and pragmatism is what feeds their roots!

As we see in the Gospels, the Lord Jesus’s greatest conflicts were with the ruling class of the established religious system of His day, and that for most of these very same reasons.  The holy, heavenly words and ways of God, fully embodied and expressed in and through Jesus of Nazareth, came in direct conflict with and opposition to these same entrenched, pragmatic forces.  In the Scriptures and subsequent Jewish historical accounts, we see the “train wreck” that eventuated that not only (temporarily) left the Lord Jesus crucified upon a cross, but, within the century, ended the existing Jewish temple and religious system that had prevailed for centuries.

Even so today, when God sends His prophetic Spirit and Word, often through human agency, to challenge the pragmatic ways of those prevailing religious systems that have departed from the heavenly wisdom and ways of the Lord, it is often met with the most incorrigible reaction, resistance, and rejection.  Be it known that in this conflict, it is the age-old stronghold of pragmatism that is ultimately at its root.

If God’s people are ever to overcome this ubiquitous stronghold, they must see it clearly for what it is, expose it, renounce it, and bow the knee fully and finally to the sovereignty of God’s Spirit and Holy Word.  God is raising up prophetic vessels in this hour as well who will hold up God’s measuring rod and plumb line of Christ to the Church’s corrupted foundations and crooked walls, and once again declare the truth and righteousness of the Lord concerning His House.  Conflict is inevitable, but in the end, the Lord’s will and ways shall surely prevail!

May we all have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying in this hour!

“A-L-L-L-L ABOARD!!!”


For a deeper dive into the stronghold of “pragmatism”, please see the article:
“Pragmatism and the Truth.”

Previous posts in this collection (#propheticresistance):
Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)
Prophetic Imbalance and… (#propheticresistance)

Next post in this collection:
The Stronghold of Traditionalism (#propheticresistance)

Posted in Audio Posts, prophetic ministry, The Ekklesia | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments