Day 34: "Point of Order"

                “A point of order is a tool, which is used to draw attention to a breach in rules, an irregularity in procedure, the irrelevance or continued repetition of a speaker or the breaching of established practices or contradiction of a previous decision.” This was a quote from someone who said they are an expert in the meeting. A couple of examples were given such as … “point of order, …. the speaker is repeating the same points he has already made.” “… point of order, …. the language the speaker is using is offensive.” So what does point of order have to do with this journey we are on. I thought the description was interesting as we have been talking about matters that the church can find offensive, or breaching established practices and matters that some really do not want to hear and the church is already in motion so why should we make any changes. The church does not need any irregular procedures. And yes I do repeat the desolate church is powerless, but it is; so I cannot stop.
                I was thinking the other day that all this talk about miracles, signs and wonders healing, casting out demons may have some questioning where this is going. Honestly it is going back to where we should be. I have said that the power of the Holy Spirit is missing and that God has turned His face from shining on us. This means we are not seeing what we saw Jesus do in the earlier church. Now some of you may be thinking, I have seen God do miracles or God is with me everyday or just look around and you will see God at work. Yes this is true, BUT does it look like the church Jesus started?
                Yes I can attest to God working. When we bought our last house I know God had a hand in the process. I know that there were times when things could have gotten bad for me when I was on my motorcycle and every night when the stars are visible I thank God for His promise to David that there will always be a remnant. I also know that God allowed me to marry Laurie and just recently God helped me with my weight or I should say with my eating. In six weeks a lot of change has happened. I will talk more about that another time. Each of us could go on and on about how God has moved in our lives. That is because God is so compassionate. There are people who have been healed of cancer or other ailments.
                Many in the church can testify to the compassionate touch of God but this is where it gets interesting. Those outside the church can also attest to some amazing things. There will be many that will talk about their house purchase and how it all came together. Others could have been in serious wrecks but they were not. So many could tell you about their weight loss journey as you can see on all the infomercials. It is strange that many of these multi-level marketing companies sell themselves as Christian and even have worship as part of their spiel. That gives you all the more reason to stay away from them. You also have people who no longer have a tumor or cancer or other ailments.
                Now I realize that the point of order that some would want to make is that the God they serve is with them and for me to say the church is desolate and God has turned His face is rather offensive. Yes everywhere you look you can see God’s handiwork and that makes you all the more accountable. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Now the point I would like to make is that usually when someone has a tumor, they end up dying or they have stage 4 cancer and the end will happen very quickly. Many will get sick and never get better and many will have to take medication the rest of their lives.
                You may say I am offended that you say Baptists, Catholics, Methodists or Pentecostals to name a few are following other gospels. Again it is important to look at the healing that is taking place. It is important to look at what is being taught. It is also important to look at the power available and does it look like Jesus? Does your church look like James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James tells us the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well so this must be happening all the time. I have been to a lot of churches and I have never seen that. I have even been to very charismatic churches and that power was not present. Yes people were falling down like drunks and falling and lying on their backs but the power of Jesus was not present. For the most part God is not answering prayers on a regular basis and when He does move people still don’t turn away from their own ways. Every church will have a whole lot of things going on behind the scenes that many will not even know about; some financial, some health issues and some no one is even prepared for. When these hardships come most will not repent and seek truth. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.”
                Yesterday I quoted from a person who distorted Paul’s writing. I said, “Another writer wrote, “I still struggle over my sinful nature every single day. I just can’t break free from the tendency of my heart.” He then of course quotes Paul in Romans 7. He then says, “it reminds me of the struggle the Apostle Paul had after conversion (not true by the way), where he wrote, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:18b-19). Doesn’t that describe you?” He describes this as normal Christianity and sadly it is true as the church stands today. If it does describe you and it will describe most in the church and if you said yes; then you realize something is missing and that something is the power of the Holy Spirit. People who believe this believe they will get by as they wait for the end to come and spend eternity with Jesus. They believe God is blessing them but for most they miss the power God has available for all who believe because they refuse to repent.
                I wanted to stop our journey and make a clarification. I have said many times the church does not look at all like the ministry of Jesus but it should because Jesus is the head of the church. During this journey I am not talking about everyday life as we see it now. I‘m not even talking about the beauty of the universe like the other night when the sky was so clear I wished I was at Macgregor Provincial Park as the stars always seem to be beautiful there. What I am talking about is us in the church doing as Jesus did. I am not talking about praying and hoping that God will perform a miracle or hoping He will reach down and heal and yes many believe that is the only way healing happens. I am not talking about seeing God everywhere. What I am talking about is the power of God made available to His disciples so that they go and do as Jesus did just as scripture describes. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He did not send them out and tell them to wait until God did something. He told them to go and heal the sick. Acts 5:2 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 9:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” This means amazing things happened when His disciples preached the word of God.
                This should be what the church looks like everyday, but it does not. So no we are not just hoping God will reach down and heal, we are looking to be clothed with His power so that the church will reach out and heal and cast out demons just like His disciples did. We are looking for the directions in James to be what the church is about on a regular basis and we are looking for the gifts of the Spirit. Actually we are seeking them as directed in 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” This should be normal Christianity!
                Jesus came to show us what His church would look like and do. He then empowered us to do as He did and we were supposed to continue in it. Acts 26:17 “I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” In the article I read the chair could respond to the point of order. “The first option of the possible statements a chairperson can make is “That is not a point of order” “This is made when the point of order which has been raised is not a point of order. It is most likely a statement of opinion or similar and should be dealt with quickly.” Everyone these days has opinions especially about the bible. But when talking about the power that is available to the church there really is only one view and that is what scripture states very clearly and you do not have to add to it or take away from it. Paul says it this way and could be saying it to the whole church today. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” He then says Galatians 5:7 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.”
                The church has been thrown into confusion but the truth is right before our eyes as seen in scripture but we must turn from our wicked ways and repent so that the power of God will flow among us once again. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”