The term “anointing” is as prevalent in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles (hereafter abbreviated: P/C, and representative of all subsets thereof) as salt in the ocean. Considering how little the new covenant scripture mentions it, it seems like too much has been made of too little. In some places, the alleged “anointing” has become a fetish, a golden calf: our worship services exist to facilitate someone’s idea of what the anointing is, rather than to honor the person of Jesus.
The leaders of the 1948 Latter Rain Movement taught that part of God’s restoration scheme for the church was the restoration of Davidic protocols of praise and worship. It was believed this was an integral part of God’s overall equipping of the church to reach its ultimate purpose. David’s life as a Psalmist and his relationship and interaction with the manifest presence of God (the ark of the Covenant, the Holy of Holies, Mt. Zion, etc.), were presented as the pattern for all subsequent generations of believers, in a restored truth sense. How did the apostles interpret and apply the “restoration” of David’s tabernacle (tent)?
Like sequels to a lousy B-grade horror movie, bad ideas often get recycled in the Body of Christ. It happened again for me this week in a painful phone conversation with a dear, damaged, soul. The bad-penny doctrine I am referring to is the concept of absolute submission to an alleged “spiritual covering” as a necessity for your spiritual welfare and advance. The spiritual covering is allegedly embodied in your pastor/leader, etc. This issue has been hit hundreds if not thousands of times over the years by myself and other authors and bloggers. As confirmed by my phone conversation this week, like a zombie, it just won’t die. For Jesus’ sake, and for the well being of His church, I am going to briefly hit it again here.
Clichés lodge in our minds for a reason: they’re catchy, memorable. However, they’re frequently only capable of capturing a partial truth . . . or maybe no truth at all. A preacherism cliché that is often heard in teachings and especially among “de-churched” folks goes something like this: “I am a human being, not a human doing.” I know what that statement is trying to reach: we are more to, and for, God than what we can produce. I understand how a nagging sense of inadequacy before God can be paralyzing. However, in Christ’s kingdom, being and doing are not in competition with each other and being is not superior to doing. They are incomplete without each other.
I recently had the privilege of attending a gathering of a few families with whom we have developed varying degrees of relationship over the recent years. The very young to senior citizens were present. As I reflected on the two and a half days together, I was amazed at the ease in which so many different fruit and gifts of the Spirit were manifest during our time.
New Covenant praise and worship is a life and heart issue, not a correct form issue, Davidic or otherwise. Our lives as living sacrifices are our worship, not our singing. Engaging in the forms and visceral thrills of modern praise and worship while failing to understand the sustaining belief systems of the things we might practice, contributes significantly to the drift into aberrance of both the expressions and beliefs.
Much modern praise and worship has drifted from sound New Covenant understanding into regressive and manipulative Old Covenant paradigms, paganism, neo-Gnosticism, and New Age beliefs that pander to our culture’s addictive need to be stimulated and entertained. We need to reorient what we believe and do, to the realities of the gospel.
2 Chr 7:14 is used by many as the pillar verse for revival. The problem is, our definition and expectations of revival are often strongly influenced by our religious culture and unresolved ego issues. If in an inferior covenant God was willing to forgive Sodom and Gomorrah if 10 righteous people could be found, why do we think we need 10,000 “prophetic intercessors” in a nation’s capital to beg, groan, and wail for revival in an era of a better covenant?
In our sensationalist, foul, social media-driven culture, you can do 999 out of a 1,000 things well, but you will be judged, identified, and labelled by the one stupid thing you might say or do! This happens in church-world all the time! Who among us would like our tombstone epitaph to be based on the judgment of the stupidest thing we ever said or did in our lives? Not me. Besides, there would be too much competition for top billing on my tombstone.
2 Chr 7:14 is used by many as the pillar verse for revivalistic ministries. The problem is, our definition and expectations of revival are often strongly influenced by our religious culture and unresolved ego issues. This third installment in this series examines the question of what will it really take to allegedly satisfy God so He “releases” revival to us based on the alleged promises of 2 Chr. 7:14. When is enough ever enough? Revising revival theology and practices to a new covenant understanding is needed.