Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On revival (a short video clip sermon)

I have just watched a video on the website. It is entitled The Revival Hymn, here.

Personally, I find the message on the video to be very appropriate as it exposes the man-centeredness inherent in modern-day 'evangelicalism' today. It is the main reason why the churches are weak in whatever they do. How can the Church of Jesus Christ be strong when we insist on doing things our way instead of following Christ the head of the Church? Sadly to say, with their doctrinal and practical Arminianism, most Christians cannot submit to Christ in ministry due to their anthropocentric 'theo'-logy. Even the 'purer' churches, those who subscribe to the Reformed creeds and having a Reformed soteriology (aka Calvinism), do not fare any better. It is the nature of fallen Man to control everything, and even us Reformed folks who ought to know better succumbed to the anthropocentric focus on ministry, although our Gospel presentation is supposed to be more theocentric.

It is my sincere contentation (together with that of the pastor preaching this sermon) that revival can come about only when Man are presented the full Gospel of Christ, the theocentric Gospel of Christ that the Apostles, the Reformers and the Great Evangelists up to those in the First Great Awakening preach. Also, the ministers of God must start following Christ instead of doing God's things our way. It is my further contention that for that to happen, the Church must once again embrace biblical soteriology aka Calvinism, and to embrace the Sovereignty of God in all its fullness, starting with soteriology as stated above, and then on to every aspect of theology which results in transformed lives.

I would like to end with some questions (which may be disturbing because it questions some sacred cows):

  • Being raised an Arminian and transformed by God's truth into a Calvinist, is the fact that our evangelism is so weak and revival non-existent due to the fact that there is something wrong with our evangelism message? Are they too anthropocentric and appeal to the sinful nature of Man instead of proclaiming God's holiness and His wrath against sin? I am not only talking about the 4 Spiritual Laws method, which is rather anthropocentric (I know I will get myself into trouble over this), but also even of the sermons by Reformed pastors who ought to know better. Are our sermons too concentrated on 'meeting people where they are at' instead of proclaiming God as the Sovereign King over the whole earth and Mankind as 'sinners in the hands of an angry God'?

  • Regarding ministry, the fact of the matter is that we often need to plan for events (and even the sermons are planned). Therefore, how are we to really live and minister such that God is the one in control? How can we know God's leading in our lives such that we minister in and through Him, not using our own strength? Unless you are some lunatic Charismatic like the Word Faith heretic Benny Hinn or believe in the 'New Apostolic Reformation/Deformation (NAR)' with their so-called 'new' apostles and prophets (which is unbiblical given that these offices have ceased), you would not believe in some esoteric searching of the voice of God in mystical places. Therefore, how can we know how to let God lead us? I know it is by prayer and fasting, but exactly how?

  • Your fellow bond-servant in Christ,
    Daniel Chew.

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