Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kris Vallotton's Eight Core Values Regarding Eschatology

This is sooo good I'm tempted to say, "The Lord showed me these 8 things....".... then again, I'm allergic to dishonesty.

Unless you've been living in a cave lately, you've likely heard of the current hoopla from a group that believes "We Can Know...because Noah knew, WE can know". According to them, Saturday is the rapture and October 21st is The End.

In my book, Radiance, I do address nonsense like this, but Kris' words below establish a brief but powerful grid for discernment. Give a read...then pass it along. I routinely vaccinate the sheep under my care with truth like this as an ounce of prevention worth a TON of healing. Enjoy-

Kris Vallotton’s 8 Core Values Regarding Eschatology or
“the End-Times”
1. I will not embrace an end-time world view that re-empowers a dis-empowered devil.
2. I will not embrace an eschatology that takes away my children’s future and creates mind-sets that undermine the mentality of leaving a legacy or an inheritance or my kid’s future. I intend to leave my children a world in revival.
3. I will not tolerate a theology that sabotages the clear command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and the Lord’s Prayer that the earth would look like heaven. Why is it that just the bad things have to be fulfilled? What about the amazingly good things?
4. I will not allow an interpretation of the scriptures that undermines hope for the nations and for the restoration of ruined cities.
5. I will not allow an eschatology that changes the nature of a good God.
6. I refuse to accept any mind-set that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus Christ.
7. I am opposed to any doctrinal position that pushes the promises of God into a time-zone that cannot be attained in my life or generation and therefore takes away any responsibility I have to believe God for them in my life-time.
8. I don’t believe that the last days are a time of judgment nor do I believe that God gave the church the right to call for wrath on sinful cities or nations. There is a Day of Judgment that God alone has the right to pass any judgment…but even that is a DAY …not days.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Double or Nothing

This blog is about me. Yes, it is all about me. I need to read it. I need to live it and I need to express this. I don’t necessarily need anyone else to read it nor do I need anyone else to feel as I do. As Barney Fife used to say, “Nothing to see here folks, move along.”

Yesterday I found myself needing to put a Word in the atmosphere. I was duty-bound and inextricably drawn beyond ME. Yesterday was the first full day of our nation digesting the news about Osama Bin Laden’s death...BUT, this blog isn’t going to be about that. I’ve moved on to something far, far larger for me. But to get there, I’ve got to go back one day.

So, let me tell you about me (get the idea?....ME). Sunday night, when the networks jumped on the TV screen with the bulletin about Bin Laden, my most visceral reaction was a fist pump. My gut said, “YES!”, and then the Holy Spirit said, “Virus alert”. Later, after I went to bed, I laid there feeling dirty. I had to get up and work this out.

I do believe that one duty of civil government is the protection of its citizens. They bear the sword, in a righteous sense, for good purposes for those who are potential victims of genuinely bad people. Romans 13:3,4 “Rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.”

While humanity sorts out its need for salvation, I’m thrilled that Navy Seals bear a sword for our protection. But, I am committed to labor for the change of all of society until that day when we can beat our swords into plowshares (Micah 4)! The fact that the military has to do what they have to do is to ME a testament to my failure to do what I should be doing… praying, laboring and seeing “on earth, as it is in heaven” through the wielding of MY sword!

I failed where 24 brave Navy Seals succeeded. For that, they have my undying gratitude and my genuine honor…THEY ROCK! That being said, now I have to deal with ME!

The sword I carry is the Living Word of a Transcendent Force of the Immaterial. My sword is destined to be regarded with a higher respect for world changing power than the swords that stopped Osama Bin Laden. And yet, I failed to carry my sword to that destiny so now, I have to deal with ME.

I am moved to repent, moved to grow, moved to clutch this conviction and I am being seized to step up to my assignment in this life. I AM dealing with me. I am an elder in today’s church, an elder who dreams a dream because I have invited the Holy Spirit to roar in me all the days of my life. True elders must rule in a worthy manner to the Spirit’s dream.

I Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching…”. I hold preaching and teaching as a holy skill with a Kingdom high potential. To ME, preaching is not about entertaining a crowd; it is about healing, revelation power and literally changing the world by putting the Kingdom of God in the soil as a seed which will dominate every field.

Jesus said of Himself, “…the Spirit is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel…” (Luke 4). All through the ministry of Jesus, believers and unbelievers alike knew that His message was with authority; force and tangible power. The atmosphere around Him changed when He spoke.

This is about me. I aspire, seek and yearn to be one worthy of double honor because I am passionately fulfilling an assignment to put a Word out that has tangible atmospheric efficacy and usefulness. Now, back to the hours that followed my “fist pump” last Sunday night…

After a dozen attempts to clear my mind and go to sleep, I finally got up, opened a Bible and found Proverbs 24:17 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles…”. Remember, this is about ME…

To “let” is to allow for, permit and welcome. I had a choice. At first, I let my heart be glad. Something in me wanted to stay right there and just savor the justice, but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me. He had more to say to me.

For ME, to stay right there, to continue to allow my heart to percolate and find relief in the Navy Seal’s victory would have kept me cheated from a ravenous hunger for my own personal victory. Like eating candy before a good nutritious meal, my larger appetite was in danger of being spoiled.

When King Saul, David’s personal Osama Bin Laden, was dying on the battlefield, an unsuspecting and shallow little fellow happened upon the scene (2 Samuel 1). At Saul’s insistence, he assisted Saul in ending his misery. This shallow little guy then assumed that David would love to hear this good news. He found David and brought him the DNA evidence…. Saul’s crown.

David tore his clothes and wept for the rest of the day. No fist pumping. What’s happening here? I can’t speak for anyone else, but for ME, God is offering three life altering prescriptions:
1. Guard your heart from accepting cheap substitutes for celebration. The possibility of the end of the war on terrorism is celebratory but a man’s death, however evil that man, is not a matter for bringing cheer to my soul.
2. Keep your expectations and faith on the highest possible goal on the horizon. My destiny is to preach the impossibly good news of the Kingdom of God until every knee bows to the extravagant goodness of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
3. For David, to kill Saul and celebrate, was to become Saul. For Randy, to be given to deeply celebrate anything less than, “…not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4) is to steep my soul in lukewarm water. If true passion is my destiny, the fire of the Holy Spirit must be my living room.

Yesterday’s “good day for America” (President Obama’s words, and I agree) was yet another wake up call for me. As I said in an earlier paragraph, I am ravenously hungry for Kingdom Come! Too much satisfaction at the wrong table is the worst kind of distraction, for ME.

Paul’s word to Timothy about elders worthy of double honor is my calling and I’m passionate to be found worthy of the same. As such, I’ll always find myself preaching toward an even better day for America. Celebrating the physical sword, while appropriate for the brave who carry it, will always be somewhat muted for ME. Parents often tell their children, “Others may, but you may not” when they have higher aspirations for their sons and daughters.

In 1 Samuel 17 a young David came to the battlefield with lunch for his soldier brothers. Goliath had Israel intimidated into impotency. Upon arrival David heard that King Saul would heap a sizable reward on the household of the man who would defeat Goliath. One hearing of the reward wasn’t enough…just before taking the dare, David asked, “What shall be done for man who kills this Philistine?”

I am unashamedly as aimed to be worthy of double honor as David was for Goliath’s forehead. The Holy Spirit was tapping me on the shoulder the other night. He wanted to know if the fist pump was where I wanted to stay. He was asking if I wanted more honor than the Navy Seals and how far I’d like to go on this quest for double honor. My answer is, “double or nothing”.