Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Yeast of Pioneers

Recently, my wife and I enjoyed a trip to West Point Military Acadamy where we joined the graduation celebration of one of our church’s young men. A year ago, when he invited us to be two of his ten available “tickets”, we were stunned. Having been there, now we are overwhelmingly stunned and honored.

The commencement speaker was Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. The full text of his speech is available on-line, and it is saved in my laptop…it was powerful. For my purposes here, I won’t go into much detail (it may become a class in our school of ministry, however!). I simply want to use a quote he used from President and General, Dwight Eisenhower; “Without the yeast of pioneers, the United States Army, or any other organization of men” – and today we would add women – “cannot escape degeneration into a ritualistic worship of the status quo.”

The church of America is in desperate need of “the yeast of pioneers”. Far too many of our practices and culture have been allowed a, “degeneration into a ritualistic worship of the status quo”. Status quo is most often welcomed and embraced when pain meets progress.

The spiritual pioneers we need today will have to speak and teach things that will invite the use of the H word….heresy. I’m not suggesting a sloppy foray into pop-theology or a reckless and lazy attack dog style of preaching. I’m talking about a courageous covenant of honest and transparent hunger for revelation that truly feeds people into a momentum of positive and powerful action.

I won’t take too much time here to tell you (again!) how I believe that most “end-times” popular theology has unplugged the passion and soul of far too much of western Christianity. A casual review of my blog site will do plenty of that. But I do need to relate it to the need for “the yeast of pioneers”. Here’s what I mean…
An enormous chunk of the Evangelical/Holy Spirit Renewal Church is either promoting the catastrophic, rapture end-times at worst, or at best, they are “letting a sleeping dog lay”. If this dog was sleeping, I’d leave it alone too. But the problem is, this dog bites and it is blockading an entry into the Kingdom of God. Simply put, when you believe that everything just gets blown up in the end, you will be minimally motivated to be a person of faith who believes for the healing of the nations.

The yeast of THIS pioneer believes for the leavening of the Bread of Life in Micah 4:1-7, “It will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it….they will hammer their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks: Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.”

Crazy stuff, huh? The church will have such influence, such power, such intrinsic Spirit value that our salt and light ends human conflict. But you know what? This isn’t as crazy as wolves and bears grazing with sheep and cows. Or lions eating straw, or infants playing by cobra and viper’s holes. Oh, it’s all in the Book (Isaiah 11) waiting for yeasty pioneers to believe that we truly are people of significance and that God has placed an enormous value in the sacrifice of His Son for the healing of the nations!

Some worshippers of the status quo will tell you that no such dreams are allowed for us mere mortals. They will be quick to note that Jesus must come again to finish these deeds. The problem with worshipping the status quo is that you will always become what you worship. I’ve always said that Satan doesn’t care what you believe about yesterday or the far flung future…he only cares when somebody pulls the scroll off a dusty shelf, reads the passage and says, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing!” (Luke 4:21)

That is why I’ve come to tell you is that only dreamers dare pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Only dreamers look beyond wooden theology and reach for signs that will make the world wonder. Only dreamers think of every page of the Bible as a dare from God to live TODAY! Only dreamers have their gaze on Jesus walking on the water and shout to Him, “LET ME COME TO YOU AND JOIN YOUR SUPERNATURAL STROLL!!”

C’mon yeast……let’s do our job!