Recipe for a revolution

th-9We are now at a critical juncture in our cultural history as Christians in America. We are discovering that the kingdom of God has nothing to do with the kingdoms of this world, be they political, social or religious. You cannot use any power attached to a worldly kingdom to further the kingdom of God. It has been a gross error of the last 30 years for so many to presume that political power could further the work of God in the world. Great harm has been done to America and the church as a result.

Because there has been such a confusion of kingdoms in the Christian subculture, we believe it best to abandon the subculture altogether and seek primarily to be Christians in the world. Wherever the word Christian is used as an adjective, there will be a confusion of kingdoms. The only thing that can truly be Christian is a person – a follower of Christ.

As a result of this confusion and discrepancy, it is crucial that a new model of conscious th-10involvement in the world be established, and we at the Catch are seeking to provide that, all the while admitting that this is a process which includes making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.

Though not complete, and most likely not entirely right, since we are in process, we nonetheless humbly offer the following statement of beliefs as the beginning definition of what we now call the Gospel of Welcome.

First, we believe the Holy Spirit has left the building. The Holy Spirit is not and has never been confined to a subculture or the four walls of a church building. The Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work in the world at large, and it is the job of all Christians to find out what He is doing in the world and join Him.

Second, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ welcomes all comers, so our “doors” are closed to no one. You do not have to commit to a particular agenda, lifestyle, or orientation to walk with us. Our community is open to all sinners saved by grace.

Third, we believe that true freedom comes from being a disciple of Christ. “If you hold to my teaching,” Jesus said, “you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” For this reason we are not in support of a Christian agenda or even the Christian religion. We are not in support of “Christian” (as an adjective) anything; we are followers of Christ committed to finding out about and following His teaching. That is all.

Fourth, we believe that we can affect the greatest change in the world through humbly loving and serving others, not by lording it over them. Being a Christ-follower is all about power under people, not power over people.

Fifth, we will assume nothing based on words only, but as Jesus taught, by word and deed.

Finally, we believe that all these things taken together constitute a new movement of the Holy Spirit not unlike the Jesus movement of 40 years ago. And because we are an Internet community, worldwide, we believe the Catch community can best act as a leader in this movement. We – John and Marti — enthusiastically accept that role and ask all in our community to do the same.

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12 Responses to Recipe for a revolution

  1. Carole in Midland says:

    Best “Mission Statement” EVER, y’all.

  2. TimC says:

    Someone has said that Jesus said more about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God than anything else.
    Is that true?
    What is it?
    It’s kind of confusing but it sort of seems like it’s a matter of following Jesus’ rules in order to get in or get kicked out.

    • jwfisch says:

      No. Jesus doesn’t have any rules except love. His kingdom is where He rules behind the scenes. It’s the world seen from God’s perspective.

  3. Robert Smith says:

    Various methods are employed to communicate the Good News of Christ.
    Some of the approaches appear to be successful and effective on the surface, but underneath they leave much to be desired.

    I submit to you the “Philip Approach”.
    This Christ-centered method is set forth in a series of seven principles drawn from Acts 8:26-40:
    [Philip] was engaged in a citywide crusade at Samaria and God was using him mightily (8:5-8). Suddenly, the Lord spoke to Philip and instructed him to leave the city and spend some time in Gaza, a desert area (8:26). Faithful Philip “got up and went” (8:27).
    He was available (Principle 1).
    He then encountered a distinguished statesman from Ethiopia riding in a chariot en route back home (8:28). Of all things, he was reading Isaiah! The next verse tells us that the Spirit of God prompted Philip to go and get acquainted with the traveler.
    Philip was led by the Spirit (Principle 2).
    In today’s terminology, he felt a keen and definite assurance that God would have him strike up a conversation and later, quite probably, share with that person the magnetic claims of Christ. In other words, he sensed that God was clearly opening the door.
    As you’d expect, Philip cooperated.
    Obedience is essential (Principle 3).
    He then heard the man reading aloud (8:30) and Philip calmly asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” What an excellent start!
    A proper opening is essential (Principle 4).
    Philip didn’t barge in and start preaching, nor did he crank out a canned, broken-record series of statements. He simply asked a logical yet leading question. The statesman instantly invited the stranger to come and sit by him and assist him in his quest for understanding (8:31-34).
    This remarkable response was met with great tact on Philip’s part ((Principle 5).
    Even though he had his foot in the door, Philip remained gracious, courteous, a good listener, and yet sensitive to the time he might speak of salvation. When that moment came, he “opened his mouth” (8:35) and became specific concerning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. No reluctance. No vague dialogue about religion . . .
    He spoke ONLY of the Savior, the main issue (Principle 6).
    The last few verses (8:36-38) describe the brief but memorable follow-up Philip employed in this case.(Principle 7).

    As you rub shoulders with hungry, thirsty humanity and sense their inner ache for help and hope, keep these principles in mind. Let’s become more alert to those empty chariot sidecars God wants us to occupy. You may even begin to feel comfortable in them before long. You know what? There isn’t any place I’d rather be when Christ returns than riding shotgun in a twenty-first-century chariot.

    Excerpted from “Come Before Winter and Share My Hope,” by Chuck Swindoll

    http://www.insight.org/resources/devotionals/encounter-on-the-damascus-part-one.html
    http://www.insight.org/resources/devotionals/encounter-on-the-damascus-part-two.html

  4. Andrew P. says:

    The church of 30 years ago was probably breathing too much of the same air as its contemporaries; correction was certainly in order. I fear that this new movement is going to make the same mistake, though, of breathing too much of the same air as its contemporaries. It’s hard to “stay between the ditches.” So often, when we see that the church was in the ditch on one side, in our zeal to disavow that, we simply end up in the ditch on the other side. And so, as we seek to receive all who will come in their brokenness, we have to figure out how to do that without, in effect, celebrating their brokenness.

    It’s very good that you want to accept all comers. But in the cultural air that we breathe, it’s going to be hard to do that without just swallowing the “I’m okay, you’re okay” perspective that the culture insists we swallow. We have to learn that we’re not okay — Jesus is okay. We are broken, and we want to be made whole. We must grieve our brokenness, not celebrate it. That WILL require changes. Yes, you may very well have to commit to changing your agenda, lifestyle, or orientation (#2) with respect to something. In fact, I think I can guarantee that you WILL have to do that, if you (or I) are going to truly be a disciple (learner/apprentice) of Jesus (#3).

    It can be a difficult balancing act. We’ll always get it wrong at some level, but in our efforts to correct, let’s not “overcorrect” so far that we miss the mark as much as the other guy, just in the opposite direction.

    • I am pretty sure I disagree with everything you posted Andrew.
      People have to walk their own journey. As we welcome others in we have the joy of walking with them and watching them grow in their journey. The only sin I need to concern myself with is my own. It is the only sin I have any chance of controlling or changing. People aren’t projects that need to molded into a group of look alikes.
      I love everything in the recipe above.
      It is that recipe that drew me here and why I contribute to the catch.

  5. JJ says:

    I believe there has been a new movement happening for a while now….just read Viola, Sweet, Boyd …..

  6. David says:

    Amen to Paula in Alabama

    And thanks again to Marti and John

  7. Pingback: He does things well | daily meditation

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