There have been several people trying to convince me to come back to churches I used to attend years ago. Regular readers know that if I were to do so, I would never remain a silent participant. I would most certainly have my say, and it would be contrary to the orthodoxy.
One of three things would happen. (1) They would tire of me and ask me not to return. (2) Some portion of the members would be swayed by my teaching and the church would fracture. (3) A dominant majority would embrace my teaching and the whole church would be kicked out of the denominational organization. These latter two options would likely result in very bad publicity for yours truly, since no one would be interested in my side of the story.
I’m not willing to cause trouble like that. Sure, I’m utterly convinced of my message, but my message includes the warning not to stir up strife as the means to publicity. There are already too many groups, both fringe and mainstream, using that as tool of “evangelism.” That’s the worldly way of doing things, and results are worldly, too.
We don’t want people who are persuaded to join us. Persuasion is a mere shift in psychological orientation. We want souls who are called by God. We trust in God for whatever publicity He considers appropriate, because this is His work in the first place.
We very much wish we could share this with every human on the planet. But we’ve seen the very bad results of doing that in the flesh, and we don’t need more of that. Granted, there’s not a thing we can do to prevent people joining us from fleshly motives, but we can make it very difficult for them to stick around by keeping things focused on the heart-led way.
The heart-led way is what’s missing from every church I’ve ever been a part of so far in my life. That’s not to say there were no heart-led people in them, but that the official orthodoxy of those churches excludes teaching the heart-led way. The heart-led way would pretty much destroy every organization currently standing, in the sense of gutting its power to stand. The organizational structure itself is the thing that would die. You cannot walk very long in the heart-led way without being drawn into radically different ways of doing things.
The heart-led way unveils the natural tension between all the traditions and methods of men versus that of Biblical Law. I’m not saying it will drive you out of your church, but it has that tendency. The longer you walk the heart-led path, the more alienated you are from all the failed crap humans have tried to use as a means of capturing faith under their control. Sure, I miss the fellowship, but I don’t miss the stifling systems that would treat me as a troublemaker.
Those organizations are built on the false assumption that God is the Author of their system and orthodoxy. They demand proof for changes, and there is no proof for genuine faith in the first place. You either get it miraculously or you don’t get it at all. If the word of truth doesn’t awaken a recognition of God’s hand, then my human efforts surely won’t make it any better.
We want the whole world to hear and respond to this message. God has already said that won’t happen, but that He will move in the hearts of some. So we eagerly accept those who respond, never mind why or how, and look forward to communion in the heart. We are building something entirely new, and there’s no room for the failed efforts of the past. Should the Lord keep this thing small, that’s His business, but we intend to spread this message first and foremost via the rich shalom life He has granted us. But we surely desire to see everyone get it.